Eastern Hellbender Survey with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission

12 Sep

In Late July I assisted NCWRC Field Biologist Lori Williams, “Salamander Whisperer” Alan Cameron and a crew of volunteers, students and interns in a survey of Hellbenders in a remote stream in Western North Carolina.

Lori Williams with a juvenile hellbender

The survey was greatly successful in that we found several Hellbenders of several different ages classes in a very short section of the stream.  All animals were carefully captured, measured, weighed and released as close as possible to where they were found.

Lori Williams, Alan Cameron and crew work up a hellbender.

Data from this survey day and others will help the NCWRC biologists better understand and protect the greatly misunderstood Eastern Hellbender.

A juvenile Eastern Hellbender

Watch the video below for the highlights of my adventure with the “Hellbender Hunters!”

If you ever catch a Hellbender while fishing please do not harm it. Although they can bite, they are non venomous and harmless to humans. Gently remove the hook and release the animal back into the stream. Please do not try to capture a Hellbender and keep it as a “pet.” They are threatened or endangered in all parts of their range and therefore they are protected by law from collection or harm.

Hellbender by Lori Williams

If you would like to know more about the Hellbender visit the Hellbender Homepage or schedule a visit with me at Earthshine Nature Center where you can meet “Gollum” our Eastern Hellbender.

Hellbender in moss

Photos by Lori Williams and Jason Butler.  Use by permission only.



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