Turtle trapping 🐢

Musk turtleHey guys! It’s Lauren here, so far my favorite part of this internship was the turtle trapping! It was quite the experience, I feel that we all got closer as a group as we trucked through the mucky waters of the Chadakoin. The Stenotherus odoratos anso known as the musk turtles.  Musk turtles like to live in rivers, creeks, and other shallow bodies of water that have a muddy bottom that they can forage for there food. Which consists of insects, small fish, and even carrion that they find at the bottom. It was a little nerve racking that we could not see our feet through the water and you wonder what every little thing that touches you is but that is kind of the fun part you never know what you are going to find. You might even lose a shoe in the deep mud or just get stuck cause the mud is up past your knees. But I love getting down and dirty with the turtles and trying to see why these musk turtles are only in this small part of Chautauqua county and the only spot in western New York. So it was cool that we got to be part of the first musk turtle to be marked in New York State. They are not invasive to the area except maybe to the fishermen that catch them on there lines cause they will not second guess biting someone if they are messed with and they excrete a foul musky odor from sweat glands on the edge of their shells . These little aggressive and smelly critters can get to 3  to 5 inches and the average lifespan in captivity is 54.8 years. I have really enjoyed this and can not wait to do it again!

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