Hellbenders are harmless, nonpoisonous aquatic salamanders that live in rivers and streams throughout Tennessee. These large amphibians, 11–20 inches long, live under large flat rocks, venturing out at night to feed. Ninety percent of hellbenders’ diet is crayfish, but occasionally they feed on minnows and earthworms. Due to declines in hellbender numbers, they are protected and cannot be taken from the wild or killed. If you catch one on hook and line, release it unharmed by removing the hook or simply cutting the line. Thank you for helping to protect this unique animal, which is part of our natural heritage. Please report sightings (take a photo if possible) by calling Mark Thurman at 1-800-262-6704, ext. 1027.