Comparison of harvested and nonharvested painted turtle populations

Tony Gamble, Andrew M Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) are commercially harvested in large numbers in Minnesota for sale to biological supply companies and the pet trade. We investigated the possible effects of this harvest by comparing size, demography, and catch rates of painted turtles in 12 harvested and 10 nonharvested painted turtle populations in 2001 and 2002. We correlated turtle catch rates to harvest status, and harvested lakes had a lower catch-per-unit-effort than nonharvested lakes. Harvest had minimal effect on the size of turtles captured, and we found no significant differences in the count of male:female:juvenile turtles among lakes of different harvest status. We suggest that painted turtle populations likely have been impacted by harvester activities, but it was unclear whether the current harvest is sustainable. Further work is needed to determine whether there are any long-term effects on painted turtle populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1277
Number of pages9
JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Catch-per-unit-effort
  • Chrysemys picta
  • Harvest
  • Minnesota
  • Painted turtle


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