North Dakota ranks at the bottom of the United States when it comes to snake diversity.

THANK GOD!  I'm not a fan of snakes and never have been.  Growing up in eastern North Dakota, I really only had a couple of encounters with garter snakes and that's about it.

My lake cabin in northeast South Dakota also only has garter snakes thankfully.  It does freak me out sometimes when I see them swimming in the water, and I wonder if they're going to try to crawl in?

Now that temperatures are on the rise in North Dakota, you can expect snakes to be more active.

I've heard about several encounters people have had with Rattlesnakes on the Missouri River, where a snake will be swimming on the surface of the water and will try to take up residency inside the boat.  I've read that Game & Fish says you should keep your oar on hand in case of such an encounter.  Apparently, the rattlers get confused and think your boat is an island.  YIKES!

Getting back to North Dakota snakes. 

We only have 8 different species of snakes in North Dakota and only one of them is venomous.   The Prairie Rattlesnake is the most common rattlesnake in the United States.  It's also the only venomous snake in Canada.

Bullsnakes, a nonvenomous snake in North Dakota are often mistaken for Prairie Rattlesnakes.  Both the Bull and Prairie Rattlesnake have a primary range west of the Missouri River, however, they can and do swim across the river at times.

It's been well documented that Prairie Rattlesnakes have been expanding their range east of the Missouri River.  You can read all about that here.

Bullsnakes have been reported numerous times near my house south of Lincoln in the Copper Ridge Development. I actually saw one that was run over by a vehicle a couple of summers back.  So, it wouldn't be unheard of to run into a rattlesnake on the Bismarck side of the river.

Here are the 8 different species of snakes in North Dakota.

Try not to get too creeped out.

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