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Be Aware of Changes to Turtle Harvest Regulations
Minnesota Ag Connection - 05/12/2022

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds Minnesotans hoping to harvest wild turtles this year that they will need a valid fishing license and must adhere to updated regulations (mndnr.gov/FishingRegs).

Residents with an angling license can take snapping and western painted turtles in Minnesota for personal use -- to eat, keep as pets or to remove as a nuisance. All other turtle species, including softshells, cannot be taken from the wild.

Western painted turtles must measure between 4 and 5 1/2 inches in shell length and may be taken at any time of the year. The possession limit is three. Snapping turtles must be a minimum of 12 inches in shell length. The possession limit is three. The season for snapping turtles is currently closed; it will reopen Friday, July 1, and remain open through Sunday, April 30, 2023. Restricting harvest during nesting season helps ensure the future of snapping turtles in Minnesota.

Standard angling gear may be used to take turtles. Individuals wishing to use traps, nets or other commercial equipment need a recreational turtle license in addition to an angling license. Firearms, bows, spears, impaling objects, explosives, drugs, poisons, lime or other harmful substances are not permitted for harvesting turtles.

Individuals who wish to obtain a recreational turtle license may fill out an application in-person or over the phone. DNR's license center is at 500 Lafayette Road St. Paul. Call 888-646-6367 for more information.

More information regarding turtle regulations, including seasons and size limits, is available on the DNR's recreational turtle harvest webpage (mndnr.gov/Fishing/Commercial/Turtles.html).

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds Minnesotans hoping to harvest wild turtles this year that they will need a valid fishing license and must adhere to updated regulations (mndnr.gov/FishingRegs).

Residents with an angling license can take snapping and western painted turtles in Minnesota for personal use -- to eat, keep as pets or to remove as a nuisance. All other turtle species, including softshells, cannot be taken from the wild.

Western painted turtles must measure between 4 and 5 1/2 inches in shell length and may be taken at any time of the year. The possession limit is three. Snapping turtles must be a minimum of 12 inches in shell length. The possession limit is three. The season for snapping turtles is currently closed; it will reopen Friday, July 1, and remain open through Sunday, April 30, 2023. Restricting harvest during nesting season helps ensure the future of snapping turtles in Minnesota.

Standard angling gear may be used to take turtles. Individuals wishing to use traps, nets or other commercial equipment need a recreational turtle license in addition to an angling license. Firearms, bows, spears, impaling objects, explosives, drugs, poisons, lime or other harmful substances are not permitted for harvesting turtles.

Individuals who wish to obtain a recreational turtle license may fill out an application in-person or over the phone. DNR's license center is at 500 Lafayette Road St. Paul. Call 888-646-6367 for more information.

More information regarding turtle regulations, including seasons and size limits, is available on the DNR's recreational turtle harvest webpage (mndnr.gov/Fishing/Commercial/Turtles.html).


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