Midwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Turtle Regulations (Plain HTML)

A downloadable PDF version of these documents is also available.

Turtle Regulations (Plain HTML)

Table 1: Turtle Regulations by State. Click on column headings to sort. Reset list to default sorting order.
State Type of Harvest Permit Species Harvested Season Size Restrictions Bag Limit Total Possession Limit Methods of Harvest Restrictions Unusual Additions Source Reviewed (person, date)
Illinois Game Sport Fishing All except Endangered or Threatened Species Year Round None 8 (of each species) 16 (of each species) Hand, landing net, or hook and line No collection in nature preserves or other protected refuges None http://www.dnr.state.il.us/fish/Digest/09Digest.pdf Scott Ballard IL Dept. Natural Resources Natural Heritage Biologist/Herpetologist 15 October 2009
Illinois Commercial Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited
Illinois Non-Game NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA None
Indiana Game Hunting or Fishing License Game: Common Snapping Turtle, Spiny and Smooth Softshells. Year Round None No collection of eggs Game: 25 Game:50 None specified Turtle traps may be used but may not have an opening below the water surface. Sale of turtles is prohibited None http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fw-2009FG_lo.pdf Administrative codes; 312 IAC 9-5-6 D and 312 IAC 9-5-7 Sarabeth Klueh Indiana Department of Natural Resources Herpetologist, Wildlife Diversity Section 31 August 2009
Indiana Commercial Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited
Indiana Non-Game Hunting or Fishing License Non-Game: any non-endangered, Non-game species excluding Box Turtles. Year Round None No collection of eggs NA Non Game:4 None specified No Collection from DNR lands Sale of turtles is prohibited None
Iowa Game Sport Fishing License Common Snapping Turtles, Painted, and Softshells Year Round None No 100lbs live or 50lbs dressed You can take turtles only by hand, turtle hook, turtle trap or hookand- line. Turtle traps must have no more than one throat or funneling device. If you are a nonresident of Iowa you can only take common snapping turtles, softshells and painted turtles from the Missouri, Mississippi and Big Sioux rivers. All turtle traps must have a functional escape hole provided with a minimum diameter in all directions of 7-1/2 inches to allow passage of fish and small turtles. On hoop type traps the 7-1/2 inch escape hole shall be located in the last hoop to the tail-line. Any unattended gear used to take turtles must have a metal tag bearing the owner’s name and address. All turtle traps must be lifted and emptied of their catch at least once every 72 hours. None http://www.iowadnr.com/fish/regulations/turtle.html http://www.iowadnr.gov/cs/files/542-0256.pdf Scott Gritters Iowa DNR- Fisheries Biologist 8 July 2009
Iowa Commercial Commercial license Same as Game Same as Game Same as Game Same as Game None Same as Game Non residence are restricted to Boarder rivers of Mississippi, Missouri,  Big Sioux and Des Moines NA
Iowa Non-Game NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
Kansas Game Fishing Licence Common Snapping Turtle, Soft-Shelled Turtles 1 January through 31 December None 8 Single species of combination 24 Single species or combination Legal equipment and methods for taking common snapping turtle and softshelled turtles shall be the following: Hand, hook and fishing line, set line, hand dip net, seine, turtle trap; and, gig. Artificial light and boats may be used while taking turtles http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us/index.php/news/Fishing/Fishing-Regulations/Turtles Mark Van Scoyoc Stream Monitoring Program Coordinator Education, Exhibition, Collection, & Salvage Permits KS Department of Wildlife & Parks 25 Feb 2010
Kansas Commercial Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited
Kansas Non-Game Hunting License Non-Game species Box turtles are protected from sale, and no more than 5 can be possessed. Year Round 5 of any one species NA http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us/index.php/news/Hunting/Hunting-Regulations/General-Information/Reptiles-Other-Species
Michigan Game Fishing License Snapping and Softshell Snapping and Softshell July 15 –September 15 All other turtles (except Blanding's, wood, box, and spotted) year round Snapping 13 inch minimum carapace length. Softshell None. 2 in combination (no more than 1 of each species) 4 in combination (no more than 2 of each species) Hand, Trap, Seines up to 12 X 4 feet, had net, or hook and line Set lines may not be used to take turtles None http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/full-no-ads_272056_7.pdf Thomas M. Goniea, Biologist FISHERIES DIVISION, MDNR 25 August 2009
Michigan Commercial Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited
Michigan Non-Game Fishing License All other turtles (painted, musk, map, red-eared slider) Year Round No collection of Blanding's, wood, box, and spotted without Cultural and Scientific Collector's Permit None no more than 2 turtles and no more than 1 of any one turtle species no more than 4 turtles and no more than 2 of any one turtle species Same as Game NA NA
Minnesota Non-commercial Fishing License Recreational Turtle License (if traps used) Snapping, Spiny Softshell, and Western Painted Turtle Year round except: Snapping May and June, Spiny Softshell June 1 – July 15 Snapping minimum 12in, Spiny softshell minimum 12in, and Western painted turtle maximum 5.5in, except for turtle races then minimum 4in Snapping =3, Snapping =3, Angling or hand Traps require recreational turtle license Harvest by explosives, drugs, poisons, spears, bows, lime, and other harmful substances is prohibited Retail customers do not need a turtle license and residents under age 18 may take, possess, rent or sell up to 25 turtles for use in a non-profit turtle race. Cannot operate more than 3 traps with a recreational licence http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/fishing/index.html https://webrh12.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/rules/?id=6256.0500 Krista Larson Nongame Research Specialist Ecological Resources Division Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources 18 Dec 2009
Minnesota Commercial Turtle Seller’s License Same as Non-commercial Same as Non-commercial Same as Non-commercial No No Trap, Hook, Net, other approved gear Same as Non-commercial Cannot operate more than 40 submerged Traps
Minnesota Non-Game Fishing License, Research Permit Species not listed as Endangered or Threatened NA NA Western Painted up to 25 for turtle races. Western Painted up to 25 for turtle races. NA NA
Missouri Game Fishing License Common snapping turtles , Smooth Softshell, and Spiny Softshell Snapping = Year round Soft-shelled = July 1 – December 31 None 10 Total Common Snapping Turtles=5 Softshell Turtles=5 20 total Twice the bag limit Methods: Snagging, snaring, grabbing, bow, crossbow, trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, hand, handnet or pole and line No Traps None http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/3csr/3c10-6.pdf Jeff Briggler Herpetologist Missouri Department of Conservation 26 April 2010
Missouri Commercial Commercial Fishing License Same as Game Year round None None None Hoop Nets Only in Mississippi, Missouri, and boundary waters with Arkansas on St. Francis Rivers None http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/3csr/3C10-10.pdf
Missouri Non-Game None All species of turtles except for endangered turtles, Alligator Snapping Turtles, and game species Year Round None NA 5 total Single species or combination NA Residents of Missouri only; Only can possess up to 5 specimens for educational purposes; No collecting on public lands; Sale of turtles is prohibited None http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/3csr/3C10-9.pdf
Nebraska Game Fishing License Snapping Turtles Year Round None 10 20 Hand, hand net, hook – and –line, bow-and-arrow, or gaff hook, No Traps None http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/fishing/guides/fishguide/2008FishGuide.pdf Mike fritz 28 April 2010
Nebraska Commercial Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Nebraska Non-Game Species in Need of Conservation No Take False map Turtle Blanding’s Turtle No Take or Possession No Take or Possession No Take or Possession No Take or Possession No Take or Possession No Take or Possession
Nebraska No Permit Personal Use Only Western Painted Turtle Year Round None 10 10 Any Method None None
Nebraska No Permit Personal Use Only Yellow Mud Turtle Ornate Box Turtle Smooth Softshell Spiny Softshell Red-eared Slider Year Round None 3 3 Any Method None None
North Dakota Game Game Fishing License Snapping turtle Year round NA NA Season Limit 2 Hook and Line Only Hook and line only http://gf.nd.gov/regulations/fish/pdf/fish-guide.pdf Patrick Isakson Nongame Biologist North Dakota Game and Fish Dept. 29 October 2009
North Dakota Commercial Commercial Directors Permit All species Permit specified NA Permit Specified Permit specified Permit specified Permit specified
North Dakota Non-Game Non-Game Directors Permit All Species All Species NA Permit Specified Permit Specified Permit Specified Permit Specified
Ohio Game Fishing License Snapping and softshell from 6 p.m. the second Friday in June through April 30 None Turtles may not be taken by shooting with a gun or crossbow, or by use of a spring or steel trap A turtle trap with mesh less than 4 inches square must have an opening at least 6 inches in diameter leading from it. Wings and leads are unlawful. None http://www.dnr.ohio.gov/wildlife/dow/regulations/fishing_general.aspx http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/9/PDF/pub03.pdf Ron Ollis Law enforcement administration ODNR-Division of Wildlife 22 April 2010
Ohio Commercial Same as Game Same as Game Same as Game Same as Game Same as Game Same as Game Same as Game Same as Game
Ohio Non-Game Propagating License Any non listed species Year Round None NA 4 of each species NA Must obtain permit and be P.I.T. Tagged none
South Dakota Game Same as Non-game Same as Non-game Same as Non-game Same as Non-game Same as Non-game Same as Non-game Same as Non-game Same as Non-game http://www.sdgfp.info/Publications/FishingHandbook.pdf Doug Backlund S. D. Dept. of Game Fish and Parks 2 March 2010
South Dakota Commercial Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited Prohibited
South Dakota Non-Game Fishing License All species except False Map Year Round None 2 of each species 4 of each speices Hook and line, legal minnow seines, gaff hooks, spears, or legal turtle trap. Traps with mesh less than 4 inches square must have an opening at least 6 inches in diameter leading from it or an entrance opening suspended at or above the water level. Unlawful to use firearm Fishing License
Wisconsin Game Fishing, Small Game, Sports, Conservation Patron, Setline*, or Set or Bank Pole*. Existing Senior Citizen Recreational Cards also qualify Snapping and Softshells July 15 through November 30 12-16 Inches for snapping NA 3 statewide. The one exception is on the Mississippi River, where the possession limit is 10 for snapping turtles and 5 for softshell turtles hand, dip net, hook and line, set line, set or bank poles, hooking, or hoop net trap. The numbers of hoop traps that can be operated are 10 in Iowa-Wisconsin or Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary waters and 3 in all other waters of the state. Traps must be made of stretchable fabric (e.g., nylon) and must have a minimum mesh stretch of 6 inches. No wire mesh is allowed http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/wildlife/captive/HerpsRegs.pdf Not currently reviewed by the State
Wisconsin Commercial Commercial License Snapping and Softshells
Wisconsin Non-Game Class A Captive Wild Animal Farm License Species not listed as Endangered or Threatened July 15 through November 30 NA 5 Individuals