by Scott Sawyer
THE NORTHERN Sunshine Coast is being inundated with sizeable snakes, with snake catchers kept busy wrangling a series of massive brown and eastern brown snakes.
Snake Catcher Noosa's Luke Huntley said he'd been called out to catch and release a number of "massive ones" of late, peaking with a 7ft (2.1m) brown snake north of Imbil last Friday.
It followed a 6.5ft (1.98m) eastern brown snake Mr Huntley wrestled from under a concrete slab at Imbil in late-September.
"I'm getting massive ones at the moment, it's unbelievable," he said.
Three weeks ago he was called to get a 6ft (1.8m) brown snake at North Arm and his second-biggest brown snake ever caught came just south of Gympie, where he wrangled a massive serpent he tipped to be at least 6ft and 10 inches (2.08m) long.
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He picked up a jet black coloured brown snake out the back of Pomona last Tuesday.
Mr Huntley said the extremely dry conditions for so long had drawn some of the larger Brown Snakes out into the open and closer to humans in search of water.
He said it was currently breeding season for the snakes and that meant the males were travelling long distances and were searching for water sources, often bringing them in closer contact with people than normal.
"It's so dry still," Mr Huntley said.
"I'm getting one (brown) every couple days at the moment, I got three on Sunday.
"Because it's so dry we're just seeing more of them. There's definitely more than last year.
"I'm getting a lot of really big ones."
He said he was receiving about the same number of calls for brown snakes as he was for carpet pythons at present.
Red-bellied black snakes, an ever-present throughout the year, had also been active recently.
Mr Huntley removed a 6ft red-bellied black from behind the TV of a family home in Tinbeerwah earlier this week.
He said the family was getting ready for school and work and had just flicked the television on when they saw the snake's head peek around from beside the television, prompting a call for assistance.
Mr Huntley said he was finding a lot of snakes around water sources like outdoor taps, dog bowls, pools and others.
"They're trying to stay hydrated," he said.
With overcast conditions this week and some wet weather possible over the weekend, he said calls may drop in frequency, but with weather set to heat up and an intense summer ahead he was prepared for a hectic period.
"It's just going to keep getting busier," he said.
Mr Huntley said he'd been catching snakes for 2.5 years on the Coast and had averaged 3-10 call outs per day for the past couple of months.
He said temperatures between 28C-30C, with dappled light and high humidity were peak conditions for many snake varieties in the region.
Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 catcher Lewis Rohun said they'd been quieter of late with slightly cooler conditions, but were still getting plenty of carpet pythons, brown tree and common tree snakes.
He said they'd caught a "monster" eastern brown snake at Yandina a fortnight ago.
The 1.6m (about-5ft) specimen was found climbing a cage in 37C heat.
Snake Catcher Noosa: 0499 920 290 or Snake Catcher Noosa Facebook page
Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7: 0409 536 000 or Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 Facebook page