“If we could have stretched it out, it would have been almost as tall as me and I’m 5′2,” Conley said.
She believes the fish’s sharp fins were caught in its mouth and it likely was unable to swallow the fish or spit it back out.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, her Facebook post had more than 3,000 shares and 1,500 comments. Some people think the picture is fake but Conley is standing her ground.
“I never dreamt it would go viral, and people were saying it was photoshopped and not in Indiana,” Conley said. “I uploaded the pic with the exact coordinates where it was taken.”
Conley owns a shop near the lake and said she’s worried people will see the picture and pick a different lake for their day out.
“I’m catching heck for people not wanting to come here now,” she said. “I pay for a buoy here and I love it, snakes and all!”
Despite her love for the water, in her original Facebook post, she wrote “Side note: I’m never swimming in the lake again.”
Can you really blame her?
Angela Hatke, the Digital Engagement and Publicity Manager at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, reached out to the zoo’s reptile team to see if they can ID it.
“From the photo, our reptile team thinks it’s a Northern water snake, Nerodia sipedon (most likey). They are non-venomous and usually smaller, 3′ total length is about average,” Hatke said.
“They will stay well away from you in the water so go boating stress-free!”