Chances of seeing snapping turtles in ND increase this season

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 8:05 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – World Turtle Day took its time, but it’s here.

Pat Isakson, a conservation biologist with North Dakota Game and Fish, said of the five species native to the state, the western painted turtle and the snapping turtle have the highest population.

He said they’re easy to find basking on logs in the sun, while the other three types hide in the Missouri River.

Isakson said people are more likely to see snapping turtles nesting on land.

“There are quite a few that get hit on the road, you know, as roadkill, so just something to keep an eye out for, and you don’t really want to run over a 40-pound snapping turtle. Probably wouldn’t do real well for your car,” said Isakson.

Isakson said Game and Fish surveys the turtle population every few years and it’s steady.