Red Lake Monitoring

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Red Lake Monitoring
Location Red Lake cave
Author William Tucker
Date August 28, 2011

On Sunday, while attending the HGRP event in the High Guads, Tammy and I were asked to make a trip to Red Lake to count salamanders and do a general monitoring of the status of that cave and its inhabitants. Joining us on this trip would be Cordelia Ross and Wayne Morris.

Tiger Salamander (cricket upper left)

We left Texas Camp at 10 AM and drove straight to the Red Lake turnoff. Tammy and I waited for Wayne and Corde to drop off two other cavers at the administrative site then we drove to the parking area.

Whip Snake

We walked straight to the cave and found it with no problems. We rigged around the juniper and unlocked the gate. I was the first to drop in and paused just above the floor long enough to confirm that I was not going to land on one of the local inhabitants. While waiting for the others, I counted 5 tiger salamanders in various places around the room and one long whip snake.

Bull Snake

After the others completed the drop, we proceeded to examine the cave closely and found no other salamanders that I had not already noticed; but, Wayne found another snake. It was a small bull snake with highly contrasting pattern and is probably a juvenile after its first shed based on size.


Wayne also found a frog resting peacefully in a small vug just above the floor.

We also noticed numerous crickets.

The Jim White ladder is still there and seemed undisturbed. The cave seemed to be in good condition and everything looked healthy and undisturbed.

After ascending and relocking the gate, we deconned at the car and I completed the paper work. We left the site at 1:30 PM.

Update: After returning home, Wayne found another snake in one of his photographs that we missed. It was on a shelf in the wall just above the whip snake. It is too difficult to identify this individual as to species but it is very small.