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Posted by GRWILT on February 09, 1997 at 01:13:44:

In Reply to: WATER DOGS posted by Kent Eckman on February 08, 1997 at 11:06:11:

: I caught the first one last spring in the Toccoa while fishing for catfish. Didn't know they got that big (about two feet long) and thought I had caught a world record salamander...
: A couple of nights ago I was bored and made a bait attracting light; a car headlight floating on the styrofoam this computer was packed in. Put it in an eddy behind my house, threw in some chicken bones for good measure and waited/watched.
: FEB, and the water temp is 38. A three inch tadpole slowly moves toward a chicken bone. Have I had too many beers? I caught the little fellow and took him to a friends house, threw him in an aquarium that's about 70 degrees and he's thriving.
: So, not only do they have a very funky life cycle but they're tough as well. Does anyone know more about them or where I can learn more? (Has to be on the net, I'm far from a decent library) Just curious...

Yes,Kent they are scary creatures.I had one take a trout away from my son on
the Hiwassee and I ran into one while crossing a branch of Jones CK.What you saw
was a Giant Hellbender(losses gills as it becomes an adult,may reach 27")The Water
Dog(sometimes called mud puppies)donot lose their gills even as adults(little feathery
growths protruding to the rear of head)They are smaller than Hellbenders.I understand
that hellbenders are found in waters of the Ohio and Mississippi drainage only.Thus the
one that I encountered on Jones Ck(Coosa&Alabama drainage)was on the wrong side off the
Tennessee Divide.Hope this helps.GRW

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