3 Ways to Quickly Catch Snapping Turtles in a Pond

Snapping Turtle

Are there snapping turtles in your pond that are becoming a nuisance to your livestock? Try using one of these three methods to catch them safely.

1. Set a Turtle Trap in the Pond
The safest way to catch submerged snapping turtles is to set a trap in the pond. There are two types: traps that float, and traps you place along the edge of the pond.

For snapping turtles, you will want to get the latter, such as the Tomahawk rigid turtle trap. Hang a delicious bait (e.g. chicken leg, raw shrimp) inside the trap using a bait holder then place the trap along the edge of the pond so that it’s barely covered with water. With some luck, you should be able to see an unhappy snapping turtle inside the cage after a few hours. Place the trap in different locations if your first attempt isn’t a success.

2. Catch the Turtles with a Floating Jug
Tie one end of a strong fishing line to a tightly-sealed milk jug. Tie the other end to a fishing hook. Attach a tasty bait to the hook then place the trap in the pond. The snapping turtle will get hooked and won’t be able to submerge due to the floating jug.

3. Grab them by their Back Shell
This method should only be used if you feel confident that you’ll be able to handle the snapping turtle’s weight. Put on some animal handling gloves then lift the turtle up by placing your hands above each back leg. Click here for a demonstration from Toronto Zoo.

Many articles will suggest lifting the snapping turtle by its tail. Tufts Wildlife Clinic doesn’t recommend this as it can injure the bones of the tail and back.