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Oh, Good: Thousands Of Invasive Water Snakes 'Here To Stay' In South Bay Lake

Whyyyyyyyyy (Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist)
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Here's some news that may or not give you nightmares, depending on your degree of ophidiophobia.

In 2010, we reported on the mysterious dumping of 3,000 invasive water snakes into Harbor City's 31-acre Lake Machado. The legless demons snakes can reach up to four feet long, but they're not poisonous (like that even matters!). However, as the Daily Breeze noted at the time, the snakes (Nerodia fasciata, Latin for "effing fascist") have "foul dispositions" and "bite." Plus, they're non-native, and therefore destructive to the native species that do still reside in the lake (of which, there are unfortunately few left).

The L.A. Times reports that the snakes have "made themselves at home among the lake’s floating mounds of trash," and have gotten so comfortable that they are absolutely thriving. This type of snake, which hails from the Southeastern U.S., can apparently produce 57 offspring in one breeding season. So...a lot of snakes, then!

"Our goal is to get a handle on the biology of these snakes as part of an effort to keep them from spreading," Robert Fisher of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told the Times. "There’s concern about them eventually entering the Los Angeles, San Gabriel and Santa Ana River systems, and beyond."

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No, no, no, no.

We say bring back Reggie the alligator, the lake's most famous former resident, to take care of business and get these motherf$!*ing snakes out of the motherf$!*ing lake...please.

Fisher said that a planned effort to improve water quality in the lake, the Machado Lake Rehabilitation Project, might help native fish and plants return to prominence, but this won't decrease the presence of the diabolical serpents. Instead, Fisher said, "The only sure way to get rid of the water snakes is to eradicate their food sources by draining the lake for at least a year."

Sounds like a plan to me!

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