The northern water snake is usually found near water, in this case the Minnesota River as well as numerous ponds are in the area. When I found this snake it was on the dirt path probably trying to sun itself. Since snakes are cold blooded they rely on the sun to help regulate their body temperature. The northern water snake is found in the south east portion of Minnesota. It is not venomous but is similar in size and color to the massasauga, which is venomous and also found in the southeast portion of the state. It is pretty easy to tell the difference between the two snakes though since the northern water snake does not have a rattle.