There are 15 snakes native to Oregon. Of these, only one, the western rattlesnake is venomous.
Snakes in general are not very active and do not want anything to do with humans. It takes a great deal of energy for a snake to defend itself and in the case of the western rattlesnake it can take a whole week to make the venom spent on defense. Many people confuse gopher snakes and rattle snakes. They do look similar, but rattlesnakes are much thicker in proportion to their length and have a broader, flatter, arrow-shaped head.
Young rattlesnakes don’t have their tell tale rattles until they shed their skin. Which means many people can easily confuse a gopher snake with young rattler. A baby rattle snake also carries just as much venom, if not more than an adult snake. Both species are native to Oregon and very beneficial for helping to control rodent populations.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has a great resource for people who want to learn more about the native snakes in Oregon.