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#17691 04/25/02 07:34 PM
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I have a 1 acre pond stocked with bass and coppernose bluegill. Do alligater snapping turtles help or hurt the ecology of my pond?

#17692 04/26/02 11:14 AM
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In my opinion they CAN become a problem. I have seen them feed and they have the capacity to be an effective predator especially the larger ones. They will directly compete with your game fish by not only eating the forage fish in the pond but also smaller game fish and fingerlings. If there is only a few smaller ones then I wouldn't worry too much, but if there are plenty and/or large ones I would look into removing them. The smaller the pond, the bigger the problem I believe they will be. There are lots of techniques available online for removing them if you do a search.


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#17693 04/29/02 09:18 PM
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A few snapping turtles is not a problem. They usually can not catch a fish unless the fish is wounded or sick. Then they perform a needed service of removing that fish from your pond. They also readily move from pond to pond and even if you do get rid of the ones that you have, more will come.

A young teenager and a shotgun work well around here. The teen has fun and the turtles don't.


Nick Smith
#17694 04/30/02 08:47 AM
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I think they are a problem. The normal slider or soft shell is more of a fish food eating nuisance. An alligator snapper is a predator and I want to be the only predator in my pond.

#17695 04/30/02 02:48 PM
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I agree with the above statements.
You should keep alligator snapping turtles to a minimum.

Don

#17696 04/04/03 04:19 AM
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First, I have seen the work of snapping turtles first hand. We were walleye fishing in the BWCAW, on the edge of canada, we came into camp at dusk with a couple 2 pound walleyes on the stringer, where they were to stay untill breakfast. Suddenly the canoe was pulled back towards the water, everyone said "those walleye are pretty strong". When my brother grabbed the canoe we realized that wasn't a walleye, a snapping turtle wider than my paddle blade (11") had ripped the gills out of the small eye, and had a tenacious hold on it. After beating the turtle off of the walleye we filleted it. Over the next couple days we realized we had at least three good sized snappers living around camp. And we soon discovered why, the last campers had caught walleyes too, but they had thrown thier guts back in the water right infront of camp. The turtles congregated at the easy meal. NEVER leave fish scraps near camp, it will not only cause you your breakfast it will call bears to camp. I doubt that snappers actualy prey on healthy game fish, and wouldn't consider them enough of a threat to kill them, they are very slow growing and vulnerable to hunting.

#17697 04/05/03 05:58 PM
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True alligator snappers are rare in the country these days. They are incredibly long lived and interesting creatures. They hunt by lying on the bottom with their mouths open and waving a flap of tongue around like a worm. When a fish comes to eat it, it becomes the meal instead. The common snapper is more of an opportunist eating everything from carrion to ducklings. They can be a nuisance in a small pond and can be caught with bank poles and something dead. They can be good eating if you can get them out of their shells.

#17698 04/05/03 09:59 PM
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once you have the snapper on dry ground wave a pitch fork in front of its nose till it opens its mouth. Pin the turtles head to the ground by stabbing the pitch fork through the lower jaw. Then grab its tail and stretch it out till you can cut off its head with a machete or hatchet, as for how to get the rest of it(assuming you now have the head out) no one every told me, maybe a chisel and a 2lb hammer?

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There are 2 methods I know of for cleaning turtles.
The first is the most dangerous: With a fairly sharp knife cut the breast plate away & remove innards. The breast plate is removed by cutting cartlidge btw the shell & plate. Seperate each leg, tail & neck from the shell & then skin each. There is also abundant flesh in the shell to remove. ALL is VERY tasty!
The second procedure .. my preference leaves the skin on: Using scalding hot water pour ample amounts over the exposed parts of the turtle while laying on it's back. The skin & toenails can then be rubbed clean. Then cut from shell as in above.
The danger in the first comes from the turtle pulling his legs out of your hand while you are cutting them loose which could possibly cause one to loose a finger. This is much diminished after scalding. Yes his head is removed but he doesn't know that. Head removed can even still bite! His heart cut free & held in your hand will continue to beat as long as kept moist for a looooong time!
Turtle soup is wonderful! I for one am an advocate of not wasting an animal when necessary/desirable to remove it from the enviorment. ....... RK Swaim


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#17700 04/28/03 03:03 PM
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I am not sure If I am amused, grossed-out, or frightened by your post on turtle gutting et al.

Do you put polish on the nails after rubbing them clean to pretty up the table presentation? :p


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#17701 04/28/03 03:30 PM
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\:\)


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If you can read this ... thank a teacher. Since it's in english ... thank our military!
Ric

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