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Snapping Turtle on the Surface

Snapping Turtles In Pines Lake

Snapping Turtles in 2000 and 2001
Snapping Turtles in 2002
Snappers in 2003
Snappers in 2004
Snapping Turtle in 2006
Snapping Turtles in 2007

Pines Lake Main Page

A Snapping Turtle taking a Breath During Mating Season

Snapping Turtles. They're big, prehistoric looking, and at least 50 years old at this size. Snapping Turtles are very shy and unless they are mating it's tough to get near enough to get a good look at them. If you don't bother them they don't bother you. Snappers help keep the lake healthy by eating the sick or dead animals and fish helping prevent the spread of whatever disease ailed them. Snapping Turtles are kind of like the white blood cells of our lake's ecosystem.

The best time to spot the Turtles is early in the morning. Choose a day that is calm. When the water's surface is choppy it makes it much more difficult to spot the snappers. With a smooth surface look for a tell tail "S" shaped trail of bubbles. The trail should continue to move, which would indicate a Snapping Turtle beneath the surface. The bubbles are from the animal rooting in the leaves and other decaying vegitable matter on the bottom, stirring up bubbles from the gasses released as a byproduct of the decaying process. Stay slow and quiet and look a few feet ahead of where the trail begins. Sooner or later the Snapper will surface for air. If the animal knows you are there it will stay under. Usually for a very long time. If you're lucky you might spot one on the surface at a distance. Look for a basket ball sized hump that is somewhat flat on top. It may slowly rise and fall from the water, and a smaller bump will be the head.