Don't touch a Rough-skinned Newt when you fish!

#1
When your fishing and you hook one;



I'm pretty sure it's the moist poisonous newt. Usually only if ingested, and people have died. The average adult Rough-skinned newt has enough toxins in its skin to kill 13 healthy adult humans. Only one animal (the common garter) is resistant to its toxin.

The toxin is secreted thru the skin when played with. It is water soluble and will get over everything. It stinks to me, something horrible, but most people don't notice (?). I'm not saying you will die if you touch it. I'm saying you will get it on your rod/reel/bait/line and the fish won't like it. Like I said its water soluble and will foul the area around your bait.

Whenever I hook one I cut the leader off and set it aside until I'm done fishing and I release them all at the same time. I used to use rubber gloves and was burning thru them one day I decided they were getting the time out bucket.

They are fine to handle and play with, just don't eat one, or fish with them. People have died actually.

This is an insert from a newspaper "Berkley daily planet"
"That fatality took place in 1979, when a 29-year-old college student in Coos Bay, Oregon got newt-swallowing drunk and ingested a rough-skinned newt on a dare. (I have spent time in Coos Bay, a dismal little lumber town, and can understand how the place might be conducive to extreme behavior). Within 10 minutes the victim’s lips began to tingle; numbness and weakness followed, then cardiopulmonary arrest. In another incident, a scientist who got newt toxin into a puncture wound on his index finger survived, but the affected arm went numb up to the shoulder for half an hour. "


It's a defense mechanism to avoid predation. Like being eaten by fish. And it works, they know it, and fish know it... for a reason. So think twice fellas....

FRC
 

GraphiteZen

Well-known member
#2
Absolutely agree with this. I warn parents every time I see a children playing with them. The poison is a neurotoxin and is deadly.
In addition to your stories I will add one about a young camper from northern California that had the extreme misfortune of boiling a whole newt in his morning coffee. They found him dead laying on his back behind a log with his coffee cup still in hand! They speculate he took only a few sips but having boiled a complete newt he ingested so much poison it was likely as quick as cyanide! This story was featured on Animal Planets "10 Most Venomous Species"!
 
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#5
Absolutely agree with this. I warn parents every time I see a children playing with them. The poison is a neurotoxin and is deadly.
In addition to your stories I will add one about a young camper from northern California that had the extreme misfortune of boiling a whole newt in his morning coffee. They found him dead laying on his back behind a log with his coffee cup still in hand! They speculate he took only a few sips but having boiled a complete newt he ingested so much poison it was likely as quick as cyanide! This story was featured on Animal Planets "10 Most Venomous Species"!
I did not see that. That's nuts though, and sad. That show is pertty cool, I watched the one about snakes and spiders. Maybe one about bugs too...

FRC
 
#6
Those things are everywhere. I couldn't tell you how many I've caught over the years. I even see them when I'm out picking mushrooms.
They migrate to breed and when it is damp outside, prime mushy habititat you will find them, as well as other species of salamanders/newts. But some will live their whole lives in water, some will come and go. Others only visit to mate. Their larva look nuts, like a tadpole with external gills and 4 legs. The newts travel all over, in our yards, streets, driveways here at Fern Ridge (mostly during the spring). Pretty much where there is water you will find them though. I've seen a puddle that had probably 500 in it, they were swarming a female to mate. It was pretty crazy. That was at Archie knolls (sp?) camp ground actually. Found that and a Pacific Giant larva (10" salamander w/ gills) you've probably caught one if dropped a worm in enough creeks/rivers.

An adult pacific giant salamander

not my pic but thought this one was cool.
FRC
 
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#7
Rough-skinned Newts (Taricha granulosa) are the word's most poisonous caudate (tailed amphibians). The poison is tetradotoxin (ttx), the same toxin found in the Puffer Fish.

One very interesting thing about T. granulosa's toxicity is that it varies widely over its range. Newts found in the Willamette Valley are the most toxic and the concentration of ttx in Newts drops as you get further from the Valley. Newts in the extreme Northern reaches (B.C.) of their range have virtually no toxicity, California Newts are toxic but considerably less so than their Northwestern Oregon counterparts. Most scientists believe this effect is the result of an "evolutionary arms race" between the newt and the Willamette Valley Garter Snake, their only natural predator.

Another interesting feature of the Rough-skinned Newt is that it has both a terrestrial and aquatic morphs. Some newts never go through a terrestrial phase, especially newts in colder areas and higher elevations. Other newts will become terrestrial for most of the year but revert to the aquatic morph during breeding season.

Sorry to go on and on, but Herpetology is one of my hobbies...
 
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GraphiteZen

Well-known member
#8
I'm not sure it was specifically that show, but it was one of those count down types about venomous critter on TLC or Discovery.. One of those. Definitely got my attention as I'm the guy that cuts line with his teeth and slobbers on his knots when his hands are completely pink with borax and row... I saw that epidode and was like
Oh.
Crap. :shock:
 

GraphiteZen

Well-known member
#9
Rough-skinned Newts (Taricha granulosa) are the word's most poisonous caudate (tailed amphibians). The poison is tetradotoxin (ttx), the same toxin found in the Puffer Fish.

One very interesting thing about T. granulosa's toxicity is that it varies widely over its range. Newts found in the Willamette Valley are the most toxic and the concentration of ttx in Newts drops as you get further from the Valley. Newts in the extreme Northern reaches (B.C.) of their range have virtually no toxicity, California Newts are toxic but considerably less so than their Northwestern Oregon counterparts. Most scientists believe this effect is the result of an "evolutionary arms race" between the newt and the Willamette Valley Garter Snake, their only natural predator.

Another interesting feature of the Rough-skinned Newt is that it has both a terrestrial and aquatic morphs. Some newts never go through a terrestrial phase, especially newts in colder areas and higher elevations. Other newts will become terrestrial for most of the year but revert to the aquatic morph during breeding season.

Sorry to go on and on, but Herpetology is one of my hobbies...
And I just went oh crap again.....
 
#10
Woow,

I remember when I was at Out Door School (Howard), we got to Handle those things. and I remember the people saying they were Poisonous but I thought they were Joking,


Aperently Not.
 
#12
Rough-skinned Newts (Taricha granulosa) are the word's most poisonous caudate (tailed amphibians). The poison is tetradotoxin (ttx), the same toxin found in the Puffer Fish.

One very interesting thing about T. granulosa's toxicity is that it varies widely over its range. Newts found in the Willamette Valley are the most toxic and the concentration of ttx in Newts drops as you get further from the Valley. Newts in the extreme Northern reaches (B.C.) of their range have virtually no toxicity, California Newts are toxic but considerably less so than their Northwestern Oregon counterparts. Most scientists believe this effect is the result of an "evolutionary arms race" between the newt and the Willamette Valley Garter Snake, their only natural predator.

Another interesting feature of the Rough-skinned Newt is that it has both a terrestrial and aquatic morphs. Some newts never go through a terrestrial phase, especially newts in colder areas and higher elevations. Other newts will become terrestrial for most of the year but revert to the aquatic morph during breeding season.

Sorry to go on and on, but Herpetology is one of my hobbies...
A fellow herpetologist, and I thought I was the only one.:lol:
 
#13
FernRidgeChamp, you sure know your amphibians! you posted up the same thing as I did while I was waiting for my pictures to upload (dang dial-up!) :D

TTFishon, I have run across a lot of these guys while mushroom hunting as well. I ran across this bad-boy while mushrooming last fall. This is a adult phase Pacific Giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), the word's heaviest terrestrial salamander. Pacific Giant Salamanders commonly exhibit neoteny, where they actually become sexually mature and reproduce without ever undergoing metamorphosis. This means that you see a lot more larval D. tenebrosus than adults.
 
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#15
They migrate to breed and when it is damp outside, prime mushy habititat you will find them, as well as other species of salamanders/newts. But some will live their whole lives in water, some will come and go. Others only visit to mate. Their larva look nuts, like a tadpole with external gills and 4 legs. The newts travel all over, in our yards, streets, driveways here at Fern Ridge (mostly during the spring). Pretty much where there is water you will find them though. I've seen a puddle that had probably 500 in it, they were swarming a female to mate. It was pretty crazy. That was at Archie knolls (sp?) camp ground actually. Found that and a Pacific Giant larva (10" salamander w/ gills) you've probably caught one if dropped a worm in enough creeks/rivers.

An adult pacific giant salamander

not my pic but thought this one was cool.
FRC
I have seen the pacific giant before. I swear it was about a foot long. It startled me for about a second. lol
 
#16
FernRidgeChamp, you sure know your amphibians! you posted up the same thing as I did while I was waiting for my pictures to upload (dang dial-up!) :D

TTFishon, I have run across a lot of these guys while mushroom hunting as well. I ran across this bad-boy while mushrooming last fall. This is a adult phase Pacific Giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), the word's heaviest terrestrial salamander. Pacific Giant Salamanders commonly exhibit neoteny, where they actually become sexually mature and reproduce without ever undergoing metamorphosis. This means that you see a lot more larval D. tenebrosus than adults.
That is so sick! i've never actually seen the adult phase. I've found a lot of larva but never an adult. They are supposed to be vocal as well...

FRC
 
#19
In fact, EE Wilson is an amazing place to go. For townsend voles and easily find all the species for the region. Sharp tailed snakes, rubber boas, ring necked, the list goes on and on. And you can fish. Ha.

FRC
 
#20
Absolutely down. I know a lot of good places if you don't mind hopping a fence :lol: :lol:

Some good rubber boa spots too...

FRC
I don't mind hoping fences at all:lol:. I've got couple of northern pacific rattlesnake dens that I frequent in the spring and fall if you wanna check them out, just gotta keep them to yourself though;).
 

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