View Full Version : Health of Hellbenders

Ryan Owens
07-17-2015, 05:52 PM
Hey all, I was perusing my photos on the computer and came upon a cool little treat that I was exposed to personally. On two separate occasions I have run across hellbenders on the Big Bend section of the Hiwassee River. I almost stepped on the first one on the first occasion and the second time I fished for 10 minutes before noticing there was one between my feet! Anyways, I was wondering what the health of the hellbenders are in the more suitable streams for hellbenders. Any bumps?


07-18-2015, 07:39 AM
I know Eric who is one of the fisheries interns this year found a population of hellbenders above the Sinks while snorkeling that the Park Service had no idea about. If it wasn't for his GoPro footage they probably wouldn't have even believed him. He did this 2 Summers ago.

The biggest one I have ever seen was a mile above the Y and seemed to be a foot and a half long. Cool creatures for sure. Nice Pic

07-20-2015, 06:15 PM
Nice pics! I've only seen a couple but would love to see one of the big ones.

Ryan Owens
07-21-2015, 12:39 PM
These were right around 12"-14"; When I saw the first one I had no idea hellbenders could get that big and I legitimately thought I found a dinosaur... just a big hellbender

07-21-2015, 02:00 PM
They do look like something from that time period, they are amazing looking creatures. The NPS says they can get to over 2' in the park! Imagine coming across one of those while wet wading.....

07-27-2015, 11:20 PM
i've seen big ones nearly to milsaps bottoms.

07-28-2015, 01:58 PM
The only one I've seen was just above the wye, about 14 years ago