We’ve found three rubber boas so far this year, this was near New Meadows, Idaho and came up onto my friends’ deck while we were drinking lemonade in the sun.
Two decades of running the Middle Fork up there and I have only ever found one of these…
I hate you
Shut up! @t_h_wyman you’re trolling me with that response, right? You were a guide in The Frank for that long? Are you still in the area? Surprising that you have deep roots in my home state! Mad hearts back at ya, hate you too! Small world doesn’t cut it.
P.S. ~Twenty years looking for them here I found one. In the last two years I have found a total of five.
We found one over 28” long up by Lucky Peak, she was huge, probably 90 years old or so, will post that pic in a bit.
I was not a guide, ran the river privately. And it was not every year that I got up there but most of my trips were only a year or two apart. My first trip there, I was 13. My last trip was about a decade ago, and that was the one where I found the rubber. I was supposed to be heading back up there for a trip in a few weeks but that looks like it is not happening now, sadly
It’s a low water year, really not great anyway, probably. I’m not a whitewater runner, but I’m an avid/obsessed fly fisher. Everything out this way is running a month ahead of normal, hydrologically speaking. I like that you ran it privately so many times even more than if you had been a guide. I snapped to the guide idea because nobody runs the River of No Return 20 times unless they are a guide. You must live a charmed life, @t_h_wyman and bravo to you, if so. There are few better places on this lonely rock than the Middle Fork Salmon. Wanna go fishing? I do.
Checked the station last night and it was 2.54 gauge feet, not terrible. Many moons ago, I ran it at 1.3, that was bony but I actually enjoyed it for the technical aspect of the upper stretch. First couple days were really long though because of how many times everyone else got stuck and, since I was running sweep, I would have to catch an eddy and wait.
Probably had sixteen runs in that twenty year period, we had a lot of lucky lottery pulls among our group. Had crap for the past decade though…
It is my absolute favourite river. One of these years I might just go hike the length of it since that does not require a permit. Would give me more time to herp too LOL
Better than I expected, the Deadwood Basin next door is looking rough.
Middle Fork is probably prime for some wade fishing about right now.
I think I’m headed up to the Clearwater and Kelly Creek for this weekend, though.
No joke! That’s excellent. Sorry about the string of misses recently.
Not me, you must be part Mountain Goat. I’m a bit crippled, though. My left ankle and foot are no good as a result of a serious injury when I was 24, so I’ll not ever be making that hike. I do okay, but not that okay.
Do you mean 9 years? I’ve never heard of a 90 year old snake!
No, he is probably not kidding
@garciademueller I completely understand your response to that, I forget to cite sources for my wackadoo claims, sometimes.
Rubber Boas live a very long time, according to the citizen-science research done by Richard and Ryan Hoyer. My comment was based on old posts of theirs. We know they can live for 50 years, certainly, and the Hoyers claimed one of their animals was likely closer to 80 or 90 years old. It was about the same size as the girl in the photo I referred to, maybe smaller. Perhaps they have revised that estimate, but I remember (this was 15 years ago so it could be foggy) that they seemed to have good data and solid reasoning for it.
My comment was a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. In the mountains of Idaho a snake that size has to be very old, growing seasons in our valleys are somewhat short, in the mountains they are sometimes active for only three months of the year, they have slow metabolisms and limited food supply (typically voles) to begin with.
There are many fossorial species we don’t know that much about, the Hoyers were/are way ahead of mainstream science when it comes to Charina bottae
Sadly, the Hoyers ran into some legal trouble with the State of Utah and I can’t find their old site for reference at this moment.
I never heard of a 70 year old lizard, until I recently learned Cyclura iguanas can live that long!
There is speculation that rubber boas, because of the lifestyle @gem noted, may be one of the longest-lived snakes out there
Hey @t_h_wyman welcome back! I’d love to hear about your trip to The Frank!
Trip was good for the most.
Hot as blazes and the last two days were really hazy from the fire(s)
I had more carnage in a single trip than I have ever had before - one swiftwater, two flips, a mid-rapid bailout to perform a rope-assist unwrap, and a half dozen or so minor pin/wraps
Herping was for crap, so a single baby garter snake. But saw lots of insects. And eagles.
I guess that’s why they call it the wilderness! Sounds like water that is far above my skill level, glad you made it out safely, sounds like a heck of a ride! The heat has put all the herps down for a while now. It’s been crazy hot and frighteningly dry this year. I love seeing weird insects. And eagles. I’m going to try to find some more rubber boas around New Meadows, as it cools off this fall.
The water was not all that bad really. Most of it was down to the fact that the majority of the boatmen were elderly (65+) or novice
Huh! Interesting! Thanks for teaching me something! I always thought they only lived about 10 years for some reason. Probably just bad information or bad sites or something.
I don’t blame you for thinking that, the misinformation out there far outweighs the better estimates!
The State of California Fish and Wildlife, or whatever they call it, says they live 7.5 years, most first page Google results are similar.
Given they do not even breed until they are 4-5 years old, I would dare say that anything less than 20-30 is a gross underestimation.