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#265223 - 07/19/11 04:30 PM Turtles and Rats
fishm_n Offline

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 732
Loc: Sturgis, SD
Have some bass ponds, went out the other day and saw 12 or more box turtles, what effect do they have on my pond. WOuld it be worth my time thinning them out.

Same with the rats but not as many.

Right now the bass are healthy and plentiful, the NP are there too but the smaller ones are a little skinny.

Water is the basis of all life, by design!

#265224 - 07/19/11 05:29 PM Re: Turtles and Rats [Re: fishm_n]
RAH Offline

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4049
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Box turtles are terrestrial and have no negative effect on your pond. They are also on the decline in many parts of the country. It would be very irresponsible to kill any.

#265226 - 07/19/11 05:45 PM Re: Turtles and Rats [Re: RAH]
esshup Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24027
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Agree with RAH on the box turtles having no effect on the pond.

If you're talking about muskrats, and your pond was created by building a dam, then they can compramise the integrety of the dam by tunneling into it. I have no tolerance for muskrats or beavers in a pond.

3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

#265230 - 07/19/11 07:01 PM Re: Turtles and Rats [Re: esshup]
Sniper Offline

Registered: 04/02/10
Posts: 529
Loc: North East Texas
Are the rats 2 legged or 4? That would change the caliber of the tool.

Edited by Sniper (07/19/11 07:01 PM)

#265235 - 07/19/11 08:01 PM Re: Turtles and Rats [Re: Sniper]
catmandoo Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5680
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Maybe our good friend Dr. Dave Willis from SDSU will check in and see this.

Somehow, I don't think that South Dakota box turtles would have much effect on a pond. I'm also wondering if they are truly box turtles. Usually, they aren't much into living in watery homes. Can you post a picture?

In any event, I would not try to eliminate them. Most turtles don't eat a lot of fish, and they eat a heck of a lot of undesirable critters.

Here is a great booklet about South Dakota turtles: A field guide to South Dakota turtles.

I too have to ask -- what kind of rats?

Good luck,
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#265265 - 07/20/11 08:27 AM Re: Turtles and Rats [Re: catmandoo]
CJBS2003 Offline
Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
The only turtle I can think of that seems to be half and half water and land turtle is a wood turtle, but they don't live in South Dakota. I know box turtles like to hang out around wet areas, but they aren't going to actually being wandering around in water much over their head for long...
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

#265332 - 07/20/11 05:03 PM Re: Turtles and Rats [Re: CJBS2003]
fishm_n Offline

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 732
Loc: Sturgis, SD
I will try and get pictures.

They are muskrats, and must think that they have a new summer home.
Time to charge rent!! hehe.
Water is the basis of all life, by design!

#267183 - 08/07/11 12:34 AM Re: Turtles and Rats [Re: fishm_n]
JamesBryan Offline

Registered: 07/11/11
Posts: 475
Loc: N.W. Missouri
Muskrats? They make new ones every day! I recently dealt with a Beaver problem, and got rid of some rats along the way. Arrowhead, and bulrush is making a big comeback! When I was a kid, I remember getting mad at my dad for shooting muskrats in the summer. The pelts were worth $6.50 in 1980.... alot of easy money with a few 110 conibears!And anyone who had a pond would let you trap 'em too!

Wow 1980, I sound like an old timer...............
Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer.


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