If you haven’t heard, there are some creatures in Mobile Bay, Alabama, that you want to avoid. The area may be known for its tremendous beauty and abundant wildlife, but some potential dangers exist.
Anyone planning a trip to Mobile Bay should take the time to educate themselves on the wildlife. It’s a good idea to know what to do should you find yourself in a dangerous situation.
Today, we’re sharing information about seven dangerous creatures found in Mobile Bay, Alabama.
Let’s dive in!
Where Is Mobile Bay, Alabama?
Mobile Bay is a large estuary in the Gulf of Mexico. This means it’s a mixture of fresh and salt water. It’s located in southern Alabama and sits on the western shore of the Mobile River delta, near the cities of Mobile and Daphne. Numerous rivers and streams, like the Mobile, Tensaw, and Spanish rivers, feed into the bay.
It’s widely known for its rich ecosystem and diverse wildlife. Hundreds of species of fish, birds, and other animals call this unique body of water home. In addition, it’s popular for many water recreation activities like boating and fishing.
The bay was first used hundreds of years ago by Native American and European settlers. However, these days, it’s home to major shipping ports and has a bustling seafood industry.
How Big Is Mobile Bay?
Mobile Bay is approximately 32 miles long and 23 miles wide at its widest point. While it may be relatively large, its average depth is only around ten feet. This makes it one of the shallowest bays for its size.
Over 250 waterways comprise the Mobile Bay Watershed, which encompasses 65% of Alabama. The watershed is so large that it stretches into Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Numerous rivers, creeks, lakes, bayous, cutoffs, branches, and sloughs all eventually find their way into Mobile Bay. The diversity in the water sources leads to various plants and wildlife in and around the water.
Pro Tip: Go for a swim in The Most Underrated Beach in Alabama.
7 Dangerous Creatures Around Mobile Bay, Alabama
If you want to stay safe while exploring Mobile Bay, knowing about some of the dangerous creatures to avoid will be helpful. We’re sharing some useful tips you’ll want to know ahead of time, so you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation.
There are only a handful of venomous snakes in Alabama, but the cottonmouth is one of them. These slithery creatures typically grow from 30 to 48 inches long but can reach upwards of over six feet. Be on the lookout for a reddish-brown snake with crossbands containing dark spots and speckles. If you see one of these snakes while visiting Mobile Bay, proceed cautiously.
A cottonmouth that feels threatened will move its head upwards and open its white mouth. They’ll bite pets and humans if provoked, whether accidentally or on purpose.
To stay safe from these venomous snakes, be aware while out in nature, especially near waterways. If you see a snake near water, move away and give it some space.
Another dangerous creature in Mobile Bay is one of the other venomous snakes in Alabama. Copperheads are found throughout the state and thrive in forested and rocky areas. Additionally, they’ll cozy up and make their home in barns and abandoned houses.
Copperheads are typically two to three feet long but can grow upwards of four feet in length. They have a distinct appearance but can sometimes get confused with other non-venomous snakes. As their name implies, their triangular-shaped heads are a copper color, but their bodies are either brown or gray and have crossband markings.
Stay on the marked trails if you want to avoid encountering a copperhead. They’ll spend most of their time in wooded areas. Avoid hiking at night, which is the time when they’re most active. Wear hiking boots and pants if you’re hiking in an area known for having copperheads.
While the alligator population may have been low in the past, they’re thriving in Mobile Bay. These massive reptiles can grow as large as 19 feet long and weigh up to 900 pounds. They’ll typically feed on birds, turtles, fish, and other small animals, so keep Fido away from the water’s edge.
Alligators spend most of their time in the water but build nests along the banks. They’re incredibly patient, expert hunters, and faster than you. Generally, alligators will keep their distance from humans. However, they can and will become aggressive if they feel threatened. But if you leave them alone, there’s a good chance they won’t bother you.
Many people don’t realize that Mobile Bay has a healthy population of sharks. While most sharks here are small and pose little danger to humans, attacks do occur in the area. If you’re not careful, you could be on the receiving end of a toothy bite.
Sharks in Mobile Bay typically reach no more than two or three feet, but it’s not uncommon for anglers to catch some between six and 14 feet long. During various times of the year, the waters can host great whites, tigers, and bull sharks. These are three large species found in the bay and account for most of the attacks.
While sharks live in the waters, the odds of an attack are low. However, you shouldn’t fear getting into the water. Bites often occur due to anglers trying to fight a shark for a fish they’ve caught or attracting them to an area. Fortunately, sharks typically aren’t interested in making you their next snack.
Jellyfish don’t have a brain and likely don’t care that you’re swimming in the water. They’ll sting if you bump into them. Contrary to what Joey Tribbiani taught us on Friends, urinating on a jellyfish sting isn’t going to do much. Trust us; you want to avoid these creatures as much as possible.
If you spot purple flags while on the beach, this is your warning that jellyfish are in the waters. Unfortunately, staying on the shore is the only way to guarantee you don’t get stung. Jellyfish are likely to be present whether the flags are flying or not.
The best way to treat a jellyfish sting is by applying isopropyl alcohol or vinegar to the area. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on anyone stung by a jellyfish. Seek medical assistance if you notice any severe changes.
Stingrays are one species you can’t afford to overlook. They may look graceful and stunning as they swim through the waters, but they can ruin your day. While stingrays will often swim away if humans get too close, that’s not always the case.
Occasionally, they’ll bury themselves in the sand and try to hide. Unsuspecting individuals can accidentally step onto the back of them while they’re hiding. They’ll slam their long tail onto the foot to defend themselves and press it into their sharp spine. This isn’t a pleasant experience; you’ll likely be screaming a four-letter word or two.
The best way to avoid this situation is to wear sturdy water shoes and do the “stingray shuffle.” Instead of stepping in the water, shuffle your feet with each step. If a stingray is in the area, your feet will bump into them, and they’ll swim away to safety.
#7 Wild Boar
Wild boar are a menace throughout the Mobile Bay region and can weigh upwards of 450 pounds. They’re typically black, gray, or reddish-brown in color.
A threatened boar can pose serious risk to humans. Their sharp tusks and powerful jaws can do a tremendous amount of damage. While females have smaller tusks, males can have three to five-inch long teeth.
Like the other dangerous creatures, it’s best to give them their space, especially if they have their young with them. Back away slowly and avoid sudden movements that could trigger them to attack.
How To Avoid Encounters With Dangerous Creatures
The best way to avoid a dangerous encounter with creatures in Mobile Bay, or anywhere, is to leave them alone. Don’t approach or go near any wildlife that you see in your adventures. While they may appear cuddly and cute, they can snap on you instantly.
If you come across an injured animal, contact a park ranger or other wildlife experts. You likely don’t have the necessary equipment, training, or knowledge to help a wounded creature. They could have a sickness or other illness that’s causing their injury. A bite or scratch from one of these critters could cause a trip to the ER for you.
Knowledge is one of the best ways to avoid putting yourself in a situation that could be hazardous. Dangerous animals exist on land and in the water; you must know what to look for if you want to stay safe.
Pro Tip: Take some time to explore these 5 Cool Places in Alabama.
Is Mobile Bay, Alabama, Worth Visiting?
Mobile Bay offers a variety of attractions, such as historical sites, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. The beaches, wetlands, and bird-watching opportunities along the Gulf Coast provide a unique vacation setting.
Just make sure you watch out for the dangerous creatures in Mobile Bay during your visit. Don’t let them ruin how much fun you can have in the area.
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