NANFA-- Softshell Turtles

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Thu, 16 Nov 2000 23:43:14 -0500

> Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 09:51:04 CST
> From: "Dave Neely"
> Subject: Re: NANFA-- austin
> >i have visited austin several times and it offers several snorkle sites. in
> >the center of the city is a awesome spring... cant remember the name. i
> Barton Springs? Home of the fabled (and recently described) Barton Springs
> salamander... it's been turned into a municipal swimming hole, which is kind
> of neat in that you can snorkle in crystal clear water amidst huge flathead
> catfish, bigscale logperch, texas logperch, guadalupe bass, dusky darters,
> etc.
> The ASIH meetings were held in Austin in 1993, and it was here that I
> disregarded the warnings of several eminent herpetologists who stood on the
> bank and told me "those softshells bite awful hard..." as I snorkled after
> one. The resulting spectacle was much to my embarassment and dismay-lesson
> learned. Softshell necks are a lot longer than I'd ever imagined...
> oh, mongoose, does your 'puter have a spell check function? You'd get a lot
> more replies, and in a much timlier fashion...
> cheers,
> Dave


I didn't thnk turtles - big softshell or snappers would bother swimmers
or snorklers unless they are stepped on or molested in some way. Even
when stepped on, a snapper will usually opt to try and make a run for
it. Usually it's out of water where they are awkward and vulnerable that
they are more dangerous. Locally we have spiny softshell- Apalone
spinifer that lives on sandbars in the Youghiogheny River. In
Connellsville they sometimes make the local news when kids or fishermen
catch these rather unusual turtles.

While on the subject of big freshwater turtles - has anyone had or heard
of anyone who has had any close encounters while noodling - as the
practice of feeling around in underwater holes and under logs for big
catfish is called down south?


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