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Ducks, pond and snapping turtles question

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi guys frow  I'm hoping someone can give me some advice...

My DH and I own some acreage with a very large pond (could be considered a small lake I guess). It's pretty and we love it and are hoping to stock it with some fish and swim in it. I also want some ducks very badly. The problem is that there are some snapping turtles - and at least one of them is huge. I'm afraid if I get ducks and they paddle around in the pond, the snapping turtles will get them. We want to get rid of the turtles, but haven't figured out how to do that yet. I think there are turtle traps, but since we don't live on the property yet, we've not pursued it. I guess my main question is:  will snapping turtles eat ducks and their babies? If so, no ducks until we remove the turtles - but how will we know if they're all gone? They are quite illusive.

Thanks for any help with this...

Avrilon

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."  - Anatole France
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."  - Anatole France
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post #2 of 20

Snapping turtles WILL take a baby or small duck. Especially the larger turtles. You can catch the turtles.....get a good sized trebble hook, bait it with chicken gizzards.....tie it to a good strong rope.....then about 5 ft from the hook. tie a few empty milk jugs, with lids, so they float.....then about 5 or 10 ft from there, tie it to a tree. You will know the turtle is caught, when you see the jugs "swimming" Good luck...they are some nasty creatures. UGH!

Deb
Heavens Door Acres
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Deb
Heavens Door Acres
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post #3 of 20

I got rid of the turtles in our pond because they were biting the feet and legs off of the baby ducks.  I hate turtles.  They are quick and quiet in the water so little ones don't stand a chance.  Our pond is little bitty though without much hiding  areas.

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For all things chicken go here: http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/index.html
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post #4 of 20

Growing up we have had snappers take down many ducks in our pond.  Some of the turtles where not that huge either. 

You can either do the fishing hook method or you can get a turtle trap too.  It's like a net with some round openings the turtle goes in to get the bait and can't get out.

If you are going to relocate the turtle be carefull as they have a strong bite.

post #5 of 20

Or....depending on your desires.....target practice.

Deb
Heavens Door Acres
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Deb
Heavens Door Acres
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post #6 of 20

Turtles will eat anything that will fit in their mouth. They are the garbage cans of the water. Snapping Turtles make things fit into their mouth lol

Just watch your fingers, one bite and they are GONE...
They make good eating if you take the time to cut them out. If you don't eat them please rehome them to a large pond without fast flowing water. Good Luck on your hunting Avrilon!

Bubba

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone!   "Garbage cans of the water", huh? barnie  My husband would have no problem blowing their heads off, but I'm a little more... kind? roll  Though... there are people around who would love to eat them if we catch them, so I'm not sure what the plan is at this point. If we don't get any takers I'd prefer to catch them and take them to a big lake kind of far from us. I've been checking out those big traps with the circles in them and that might be the way we go. But... with our pond being so large, I'm wondering how we'll know if they're all gone? My husband wants to drain it almost completely (at least until we can see the bottom) to really see the condition of it, remove some things that some college kids threw in when the place was rented years ago and to just "start new" with it. Maybe then we can really find out where they are nesting, how many are there, etc. What a job that will be, but he wants to do it anyway - regardless of the turtles.

But thank you all for confirming that the buggers would eat my ducks if I had any. hit  That just motivates me more to get rid of them!

Here are a couple of pictures from last year of the lake when it was a little low and cloudy looking, but you can see it will be hard to determine if the turtles are all gone or not! Maybe we both need to get wetsuits and start from there! wee

http://images108.fotki.com/v630/photos/1/105445/4016184/IMG_4755-vi.jpg

http://images114.fotki.com/v655/photos/1/105445/4016184/IMG_4774-vi.jpg

Avrilon

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."  - Anatole France
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."  - Anatole France
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post #8 of 20

Your husband has the best suggestion. You need to drain it anyway if you plan on stocking it with fish. When you drain it, you can control the vegetation both in and around the water. You can put Rotenone in the water to kill off unwanted "junk fish" before you stock it or they will eat the fish you try to stock with. Then, you can start killing all the turtles while the water is low. If you can't drain the pond completely, and you have to rotenone the water or sein the pond, this will help you have a clean start from a fish standpoint and a turtle standpoint. I would sein the water to get rid of turtles if you can't drain it enough to shoot them all.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

RoyalHillsLLC, Thanks so much for your input. I'll show your reply to my husband and that will motivate him even more, I'm sure. He's pretty smart about all this stuff, but it's nice to have some added opinions. I'm not familiar with Rotenone or seining, so need to do some research on them. This is our first pond, so we have a lot to learn. We have pond books that help a bit, but I like getting first-hand info from those in-the-know - and my husband likes doing rather then reading. He is is an electrician, plumber, builder, woodworker, mathmetician and a good blue collar kind of guy who knows about stuff, if you know what I mean - but he doesn't know everything (though I can't tell him that). wink I'll relay your message to him. Thanks again!

Avrilon

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."  - Anatole France
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"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."  - Anatole France
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post #10 of 20

Wow - I'm in the minority here in that I actually LIKE snapping turtles. Though as noted, they and ducks do NOT mix!

If you do drain the pond completely, that in itself may drive off most of the turtles to nearby wetlands. Of course, however you get rid of them keep in mind that it may not take much for a new turtle to find its way there in the future.

I remember seeing a guy on Michigan Outdoors many years back who would catch them by hand. He would walk around in the shallows with a cane feel around in the muck for them. When he found one, he would run the cane along its shell till he found the scalloping on the back of the shell. Then he'd grab the back of the shell with one hand, while grabbing the front of the shell just above the neck. The turtles couldn't reach their necks around to grab his hand - so long as he kept the turtle pointed away from his legs he got away un-hickied.

-Frank

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