by Crystal Cockman
This past week, I spent the whole week volunteering with North Carolina State Parks searching for hellbenders in the New River in Ashe County. Each year they host hellbender week, which is a week dedicated to looking for these fantastic critters in the mountains of North Carolina. They also go by the name of “snot otter” due to their sticky, slimy skin.
Each morning at 9:00am, we met at the New River State Park US 221 Access. Ed Corey, Inventory Biologist with State Parks, led the effort and started with introductions. There were a variety of people there each day, some of which were there for the whole week and some for just a day or two.
We headed out from there in a caravan to the section of the river we’d be searching that day. Each day we went to a different stretch of the South Fork of the New River. The first day, we had to walk downstream a ways to then come back up searching upstream as we went. The current was pretty strong in places, and the water got fairly deep in spots, so it wasn’t always easy going. [Read more…]