Rattlesnake Island is vital to saving the species from extinction

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – By next year at this time, the largest of Islands visible from the fisheries and wildlife headquarters on the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown will become home to some timber rattlesnakes, which are native to Massachusetts.

Tom French, the Assistant Director of the State Fisheries and Wildlife Department, told 22News there has been some mis-information out about this project. He said only 10 rattlesnakes will initially populate the Quabbin island, and there will be no threat to fishermen or any others who use the Quabbin for recreation

Neighbors who’ve hiked and enjoyed the Quabbin for years told 22News they welcome the additional use of the reservoir property. Richard Libiszewski of Ludlow said, “I think it’s a great idea, I used to go there when I was a kid; we used to camp in the woods, make our own campfire, and I’d go up quite a bit right now.”

Some Belchertown residents have expressed concern that rattlesnakes might swim away from the island, and pose a danger to fishermen and others. French said the snakes would not be able to survive the winter if they swam off the the island to the shore.

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