Lida
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:05 pm
Location: Ohio

Getting Snapping Turtle Out of Pond

We have a beautiful pond in our backyard....home to lots of fish and frogs and hardy water lily.......and now a large snapping turtle. We are living in fear that he will be eating our fish and frogs. Does anyone know how we can coax him out of the pond, capture and release elsewhere?
If a perennial has been moved three times, it is probably still not in the right place.

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

The first thing you have to do is find a large body of water with plenty of fish and other prey animals to support the turtle. You have to know in advance where you will release the turtle, because it has to be done promptly, as soon as the animal is captured.

There are a few different designs of turtle traps that you can buy. I think you could even build a simple one, if you wanted to go to the trouble. Before I did that, however, I would check to see if there is a wildlife rehabilitator in your area who is willing to do it for you. Call your state's Fish & Game office or you local police department to get the phone number of the nearest wildlife rehabilitator. If there is a college or university in your area, they may have a biologist who would be willing to rescue the turtle for you. (When I was active as a wildlife rehabber, our on-call "snake guy" was from our local university. :) )

It is actually safe to pick up a snapping turtle with your hands. Grab it firmly, with one hand on either side, a bit toward the rear end, or on either side of the tail. I don't encourage you to try it if you aren't confident of your ability to hang onto it, though, because they can be somewhat slippery. If it struggles and you drop it, it could injure the turtle. I also wouldn't encourage you to try it unless you have a clear view of the turtle, even though some people will tell you just to feel around in the water until you find the turtle. :roll: You may also hear that the best way to pick one up is by the tail, but unless the turtle is very small, i.e. a hatchling, that will injure it. It would be like picking up a dog by it's tail. :(

Before you completely write off the idea of buying or making a turtle trap, however, consider that the snapping turtle probably came from somewhere nearby, perhaps a lake or large pond that is overpopulated with snappers. That means, since your pond is full of snapping turtle food, this is very unlikely to be the only time you'll have to remove one of these critters from your pond. You might want to own a trap, so you'll be prepared for future turtles. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Are snapping turtles still legal to eat? I mean are they a protected species? If not, look up recipes.

That is one definite solution, then just cage the pond so you don't have to have turtle soup again.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

The alligator snapper is protected as a Threatened species throughout it's range, and some states list it as Endangered. It is also protected by Federal laws. This species does exist in Ohio, and we don't know whether that's the one the OP is dealing with.

In Ohio, the state has established a specific hunting season for taking turtles, and the animals may only be trapped, not taken with any kind of weapon. I think they require a fishing license to legally trap turtles, and they limit the type of traps that may be used.

Personally, I would check with the state Fish & Game office, before I made any turtle soup, but that's JMO. :)

ETA: Snapping turtles are not indigenous to Oregon, and they are removed whenever they are found. One of my wildlife rehabber friends has one right now, so I asked her how she handles it. She said she just scoops it up with a snow shovel! :lol:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

planter
Senior Member
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:34 am
Location: South Shore MA/ Z6?

I have been escorting snapping turtle across the road for years and I just grab them by the end of the tail and carry them away. just make sure you hold them at arms distance from your legs cause they are one quick critter when angry.
I hunt and eat wild game but something about snappers makes me just let them go. A 25 pound one is much older than I am and they live to a ripe old age if they can avoid turtle trot lines and more importantly MV's!!
They have a neat little appendage at the back of their mouth that looks like a worm. They wiggle that little bugger and anything that comes within range is in BIG trouble!
I have had them bite clean through a broomstick so watch out. Personally I don't think I would ever grab them by the shell. They have a neck as long as their body. :shock:
I hope you were able to get him out of your pond. :D
Got anything good that's Z6 hardy?

Lida
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:05 pm
Location: Ohio

Getting Turtle out of Pond

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. Unfortunately we have not been able to get this turtle out of the pond. The water is not clear enough to see him hiding under all the dozens of lilys in the pond. We see his head pop up when he comes up to feed along with the goldfish in the pond but attempts to snare him at that time have always failed. He is quick and clever. I can only hope that we will get him out eventually and that there will be some fish left in the pond feisty enough to reproduce and replenish our pond.

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

There are underwater traps you can buy/borrow/rent. Contact the Fish & Wildlife Dept. in your area. They should be willing to advise you. They might even have a volunteer, like my friend, who will come out and help you. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

RogerNamVet
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:36 pm
Location: Danforth, ME

RE: Getting Snapping Turtle Out of Pond

Dear Lida:

Here's another outlook...LOL

I just posted a short video of a snapping turtle...LOL..on CNN i Report, which was vetted by CNN after they e mailed me. You can watch it here if you have time. Actually, if you get a video camera, and can video the catch and release of your turtle, it might make a great news report to upload to Cable News Network CNN i-Report. so keep that in mind. https://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-623133

I don't know if your pond is the kind your create artificially in your yard, that cost you a lot of money to create and maintain, or if it is a natural pond like I have in my wooded area out back, which may influence your feelings about it.

But you could look at this snapping turtle as PART OF YOUR POND'S ECOSYSTEM. First of all, if the food gets skimpy in your pond, meaning most of the fish have been eaten, the snapper will most likely leave to move on to greener pastures.

But I'm thinking of my three, 4 pound bird feeders, and all of the birds that come to my rural house in Maine near the Canadian border to have a bite. However, with all the birds that come to feed are the avian version of SNAPPERS, meaning hawks and eagles that prey on the other birds who are coming to eat. Therefore, you might see this snapper as part of your pond's natural ecosystem, instead of an interloper. In any case, some video of your snapper might be fun to share on CNN i-Report or YouTube?

During my first year here, being from New Jersey in an apartment complex, I walked out to the pond and saw a bundle of sticks, and was kind of irked that someone was harvesting on my property. Then, I saw a huge, freshwater clam, sitting near the sticks. Then I noticed the sticks were gnawed, and not cut, and had a good laugh. My interlopers were beaver...LOL..and it was probably a raccoon I interrupted, about to enjoy his meal. Sometimes the wild animals we think are, "NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE", are actually in their home environment, and IT IS WE WHO ARE THE INTERLOPERS. Roger in Maine. :)
Roger

Return to “Water Gardening”