alligators & South Carolina

What is the deal with alligators in SC ?Are they a threat to kayakers? Are they more afraid of us then we are of them ? What precautions should we take when paddling in South Carolina?Any info would be helpful.The biggest problem we have in the north east are mosquitos .

I doubt it.
I’ve seen a few alligators in SC, so I know they are at least in the eastern lowlands.

I live in Florida, we have them in abundance, and they pose no threat to paddlers. I would not advise swimming at dusk, dark, or dawn, but that’s about it.


Forget about alligators, but google and
read up on river conditions, landings, etc., before you set out.

I paddle a lot in Louisiana, where there really are lots of gators, and they are absolutely no problem. We paddled the Edisto in SC and never saw a gator.

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They’re there, but not…
a problem just give them their space. My wife an I paddled the Dawhoo (sp?) River in the ACE basin quite a few years ago in an effort to see gators. They were everywhere, we stopped counting at 40. We never felt threatened, but we weren’t swimming despite the 100 degree day.

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Where in the Northeast
There are blackflies and minges, and oooh leeches and bears there. And moose…

At least where I live in Maine.

I’ve been paddling a lot in Florida and now to my dismay have a whole portfolio of pictures of alligator faces.

All minding their own business. I have paddled a bit in SC too like the Edisto and Sparkleberry and seen nary a one. No doubt they may be down there in the mud but I don’t care

Don’t step on them -
and don’t call their mom 'a handbag! - and they’ll never bother you.

Closest encounter I’ve had ( ), incidental contact in shallow water with paddle; they want away from us as much as we want to avoid them - mating season is May.

Now Croc’s (pointed nose) can be aggressive, but they are uncommon in the US.

Paddle on

thanks everyone
hoping for a good paddling experience !

one little word of caution, snakes
this water moccasin was in ga and I took the photo on one of my paddling trips, just watch where you step and be aware, they like the same habitat as the gators

and there’s ticks and coons,
lots of swamp critters to be aware of.

Cottonmouth anti venom $10,000 per dose
3 dose minimum

Beware of Doctors.

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gator country
I have paddles around gators for awhile now. Never been bothered by any of them. I live in Ga and we have our fair share here. I have not heard of a gator bothering yakers, ever. Respect them and keep your distance when possible and you will be ok.

My criteria:
make any of them that are less than eight feet long move out of my way, unless they already have.

They don’t want any part of humans

Give any of the big bulls the right of way, and go way around them if they don’t get out of my way.

They don’t want any part of humans either, but they also don’t want to be bothered

jack l

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Gators have been known to attack kayaks

– Last Updated: Aug-15-15 10:18 PM EST –

I paddle the SC lowcountry

– Last Updated: Aug-18-15 1:47 PM EST –

2-3 times a year and it is
rare to see a gator. Like somone said, they want nothing to do with you.I grew up in Charleston and we swam in creeks, rivers, and salt water constantly and never thought about them. Same with snakes. I get way more cautious about hornets and red wasps who like to build their nests on the edges of creeks and rivers.
If you want to avoid gators and poisonous water snakes, paddle north of Columbia, but it isn't nearly as interesting as the lowcountry, except Lake Jocassee.

Have we forgotten these gator attacks?

– Last Updated: Aug-20-15 11:21 AM EST –

I think they were all discussed here -- one where a gator jumped into a canoe on the Hillsborough River, a second where a woman had her arm bitten off in the Wekiva River, and a third attack in the Everglades.

I'm very careful in gator waters. Don't provoke them. Stay in the middle of river when going around a bend. The gators are often on the bank receiving the sun. I don't go for swims and I don't even dangle my feet in the water.

My outrigger canoe was sunk by a gator bite or tail thrash -- I couldn't really determine which -- when I surprised it by paddling over it in shallow murky water. Then I had to stand in that water trying to duct tape my hull. Scary.

South Carolina has plenty of gators.

Just be careful. It's a manageable paddlesport risk like drowning, falling, axe/knife injuries, bears, poisonous snakes, insects, lightning, sharks, sting rays, jet skis, power boats, and the drive to and from the water.

On edit: I forgot about the woman killed by a gator in Juniper Springs, which is one of my top 10 paddling places on the planet.

I'd advise people not to pay too much attention to personal anecdotes of non-harm. Just because someone on this forum hasn't been hit by lightning on the water, or doesn't personally know anyone who has, doesn't mean that lightning is not an objective statistical risk.

Ninty nine percent of those attacks

– Last Updated: Aug-20-15 6:25 PM EST –

were due to stupidity.
The one at Juniper Springs was ridiculous.
That idiot girl had to be either high on something or completely stupid to get into the water and snorkel up to a bull alligator.

I remember that bull well. It was a fixture. Every year it was on the same sand bank, and we as well as every other paddler would stay way on the other side of the run, and take pictures of it as we would cost by.
It is a shame that they had to kill it.

There is no excuse for what that girl did, and it is absolutely stupid for any one to be swimming where gators are known to be, or in black water, or where fishermen clean their catches.

And for what it is worth, I agree with you on Juniper Springs Run. It can best be described as "the Garden of Eden" _ It's my favorite

Jack L

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I’m in N.E. NC where we have cottonmouths, copperheads, and rattlesnakes…and our local hospitals don’t keep anti-venom in stock. So, be very careful where you put your feet and hands. Also…be aware of the bushes. Snakes tend to lay on the branches and will drop if startled. Not a big problem, but be aware.

This is good

– Last Updated: Nov-05-15 7:33 AM EST –

I'm in N.E. NC where we have cottonmouths, copperheads, and rattlesnakes....and our local hospitals don't keep anti-venom in stock. So, be very careful where you put your feet and hands. aware of the bushes. Snakes tend to lay on the branches and will drop if startled. Not a big problem, but be aware.

look Ma palm trees !
Good question deserving an answer …we all seen palm trees …

lookee here…0…1ac.1.64.img…16.24.1987.KcbEybocd04#imgrc=KNWjqdz1SkIcyM%3A