Had a big spiny softshell sunning on the bank earlier this spring. Maybe 16" carapice? And I thought I saw a smaller male also sunning just a little ways away. Saw a baby 3" softshell in the creek behind the pond so must have been a successful year.
The softshell turtles are really cool because they have flippers more like ocean turtles rather than the traditional claws. The softshell are kind of uncommon in my area (compared to sliders and snappers) but are very common in the Spring River drainage that our local creeks end up dumping into. Kind of neat to have one hanging around.
We have baby sliders every year in my forage pond where there are no big predators to eat them. And they quickly become pellet trained. But so far have not had a problem with over population. They seem to regulate themselves and move off to the creek as time passes. Having a seasonal creek nearby and a larger creek a quarter mile away makes turtles a common occurrence. They come and go.Turtles