Fishing trip nets death adder in Wallis Lake

This death adder was netted in the water and returned to the bank by visiting fishermen on Wallis Lake.

This death adder was netted in the water and returned to the bank by visiting fishermen on Wallis Lake.

A DEATH adder taking a dip off the bank of one of Wallis Lake’s tributaries was no doubt surprised to find itself ‘netted’ by members of the Webb family during a recent fishing trip.

Steve Webb said he was out fishing in a boat with his son Tom, 15, and nephew Chris when Tom spotted the snake in the water. All three men are familiar with snakes, keeping carpet pythons as pets back at home in Buxton, south of Sydney. 

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“But I’ve never seen a death adder in the wild,” Steve said, adding that they recognised it immediately because of the yellow tip at the end of its tail.

“Death adders hide under leaves but keep the end of their tail poking out. They wriggle it around so it looks like a worm to attract prey like birds. Then they strike.”

The fishing group netted it to have a good look at it from a safe distance before releasing it back onto the bank. 

Local snake expert John Smith said it was unusual to find the highly venomous snake out during the day as they are generally nocturnal.

“They don’t like swimming so that was a bit unusual,” he added, clarifying that despite this it would have been OK in the water. 

He said that to be bitten by one you would have to tread on it or pick one up and they should generally be left alone. 

Steve said that they spend two weeks every year in the area and have never seen anything like this. 

“Now we know they’re there, we wouldn’t venture onto the bank around here. It’s marshy scrub, and you just never know,” he said.

'FUN' fact - Despite their short size, death adders have the longest fangs of any Australian snake.

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