ACCIDENTALLY HOOKED A TURTLE
Every year there are turtles accidentally hooked on fishing lines and returned to the water with the hook intact. Without meaning to this is a practice that can be harmful to turtles. As supported by accredited veterinarians and licensed wildlife rehabilitators that have witnessed fishing hook related injuries first hand and fatalities the practice of cutting the line by their accounts is not only harmful to the turtle caught on a fishing line but detrimental to their species.
We would like to let anglers that are not already aware of 'What To Do' if a turtle is accidentally hooked, know ‘How To Avoid’ hooking a turtle and the resources available to assist in such circumstances.
In years gone by if a turtle was accidentally hooked on a fishing line this was often dealt with by simply cutting the line meaning the turtle was left with a fishing hook intact. Without meaning to this is a practice that can be harmful to turtles. As supported by accredited veterinarians and licensed wildlife rehabilitators that have witnessed fishing hook injuries and fatalities first hand the practice of cutting the line and returning a turtle to the water with a hook intact has since been proven to be extremely harmful to turtles caught on a fishing line and detrimental to their species.
We would like to let anglers that are not already aware of 'What To Do' if a turtle is accidentally hooked, ‘How To Avoid’ hooking a turtle and the resources available to assist in such circumstances.
The province reports that over 1.5 million anglers (locals, seasonal residents and non-resident visitors) fish in Ontario’s 250,000 lakes, 100,000 km of rivers and other waterways each year. The amount of time attributed to recreational fishing each year is estimated to be the equivalent of 14.4 million days and 74.6 million hours. That is potentially a lot of fishing lines cast into the water with the possibility of accidentally hooking a turtle because there is no escaping the fact that fish habitat is also turtle habitat.
Returning a turtle to the water with a hook intact or injury sustained could soon after or in time prove fatal to the turtle accidentally caught.
'If you accidentally hook a turtle while fishing please do not cut the line!'
A fishing hook left intact could affect a turtle’s ability to forage for food, to eat and go about their daily life. If a hook were to be swallowed it could get lodged in the turtle’s throat or gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and intestines). This would be especially agonizing for a turtle and prove fatal. Turtles sometimes get hooks embedded in their shell, a joint, bone or muscle, legs, an eye and head. Untreated external and internal injuries, malnourishment, and/or infections can lead to a sickly, diseased turtle, affecting bodily functions, reproductive capabilities and in some cases the health of other turtles and the body of water.
Please help protect Ontario’s turtles by reading and sharing the information in this post. Thank you.
HOW TO AVOID HOOKING A TURTLE
To reduce the chances of hooking a turtle and ideally avoid this it is helpful to be particularly mindful about the location you choose to fish, the bait used and gear choices.
Location - It is always best to steer clear of known turtle hot spots, areas turtles are spotted basking nearby and/or areas with heavy vegetation. Both fish and turtles hide in thick weeds and reeds that serve as protective covering.
Stop fishing if you see a turtle and wait for the turtle to pass. Better yet, consider fishing in another location you know or suspect to be less frequented by turtles. If you are visiting an area and unsure about whether a body of water is populated by turtles ask around. People that reside in the community are a wealth of information in this regard and typically happy to offer assistance knowing you are looking out for the local turtle population.
Bait - When considering using bait including worms keep in mind that live bait used to attract fish is just as likely to attract turtles. Through no fault of their own turtles are doing what comes naturally when a food source of interest is on offer.
Turtles are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Turtles consume a variety of vegetation and scavenge for carrion meaning they are eating the rotting plant and animal matter (carrion) and/or refuse in lakes and other bodies of water. This makes turtles extremely important because they act as janitors to the lakes and other bodies of water. Snapping turtles in particular being the largest freshwater turtles in Ontario are in fact vital for this purpose. If turtles were not present and cleaning the lakes in this way this would be comparable to road kill on the highways not being cleaned up and being allowed to pile up creating an unhealthy environment.
The turtles scavenging activities rid the water of decaying carcasses that would otherwise pollute waterways and it aids in preventing excess bacteria build-up and waterborne parasites.The heath of a body of water if compromised can result in recreational water illnesses and waterborne parasites such as swimmer’s itch that can effect people and beloved pets that venture into the water. The turtles role in this regard is far reaching and contributes to maintaining the health of the lakes and/or bodies of water, promoting a healthy fish population that provides food for people and wildlife, recreational opportunities, aesthetic benefits for people to enjoy as well as being an important support to biodiversity particularly in a wetland environment.
In doing what comes naturally turtles are apt to go after your bait, especially if using a type that is live or organic. If you use chicken gizzards, chopped up beef pieces, or a cut-up fish as bait, then you are asking for a turtle to come to your line. Turtles are quite fond of worms. Fishing with live worms may also give turtles a reason to be interested.
Using live bait in an area known to be inhabited by turtles is like throwing a dog a bone. Please consider using lures. They are less appetizing to turtles and can discourage them from taking an interest and possibly getting hooked.
Gear - The best advice about fishing gear is to use ‘barbless hooks’ to prevent the chances of injuring a turtle or causing a fatality. This will not help you avoid turtles altogether but turtles are not easily caught with hooks that do not have barbs. Using a barbless hook makes a big difference for turtles should a turtle finds its way onto your hook. Note: If a barbed hook is felt to be absolutely necessary please consider a micro-barbed hook over a barbed hook.
You can easily purchase barbless hooks at any bait or outdoors shop that sells fishing equipment. There are endless types of lures available and information online to assist you in choosing the best lures to avoid accidentally hooking a turtle. By modifying your fishing gear, such as using hooks without barbs, you can help prevent freshwater turtle injuries and mortality incidents. This in turn helps to maintain a healthy lake and fish population as the turtles play a significant role in both.
If you have barbed hooks they can easily be modified. You'll need a pair of pliers or a metal file. Either bend down the barbs with the pliers until they're smooth or use the metal file to remove the barbs. Not only are barbless hooks more humane to the fish, they are also easier to remove from fish, turtles and yourself should you get hooked.
Opt for a single hook over a treble hook.
Turtles can die by bleeding to death just by removing the hook, and most of the time Snapping turtles put up a struggle when doing so, often causing more intense bleeding to occur.
Hooks do kill turtles, as well as fish, and it should never become a practice for anglers to leave hooks in either turtles or fish, when able to avoid.
The old school thinking that a fish, and therefore a turtle, will be okay because the fish hook will ‘dissolve’ over time, is not the case. Although some fish hooks are shaken away because they are an irritant or they may work their way free from a fish, or a turtle, there is no guarantee of this outcome. Even if the case, it could take a considerable amount of time, causing undue stress and injuries.
Fishing hooks decades ago may have deteriorated due to slowly rusting rust away or instead be unintentionally swallowed with ill effects. In this day and age fishing hooks are most often manufactured from either high-level steel, steel alloy with vanadium or stainless steel, depending on the application. Most quality fish hooks are treated with a form of corrosion-resistant surface coating. The old thinking that fish or turtles have strong stomachs that will tolerate a hook rusting away or swallowed is just not the case.
Hooks marketed as being biodegradable simply do not exist to date. There have been attempts, but none that we are aware of have resulted in a truly successful biodegradeable hooks. The materials used are reported by anglers as lacking the strength required making them ineffective for fishing. Research and testing continues in this regard.
Note: Fishing tackle containing lead should be avoided. If ingestion by turtles or other wildlife this can lead to fatal lead poisoning. Discarded lead can negatively impact the ecosystem.
TURTLE ON THE LINE
To prevent injuries to turtles that go undetected please do not leave unattended fishing lines in the water for any length of time. A turtle accidentally hooked and not observed that breaks the line would then be left with a fishing hook left intact and/or fishing line. Other aquatic wildlife could be impacted by such fishing practices.
Distress, pain and/or handling can very easily stress a turtle. If a turtle is accidentally hooked on a fishing line the turtle should be gently dealt with as soon as possible and released immediately after the hook is removed if the turtle appears in good form. The longer a turtle is stressed the weaker it becomes and the longer the turtle will take to recover. When stressed expect any sized turtle to bite and/or scratch to get away, because they are scared and in pain.
Be careful and alert, even small turtles in distress can and will bite or scratch! With a small turtle, usually the hook can be taken out by hand or pliers, as with fish, because the turtle is not strong enough to stop you. Wrapping the turtle’s face and head with a cloth can be helpful for calming the turtle ever so slightly for safety sake. Once you are safe from bites and scratches carefully work on removing the remove the hook by hand or with pliers.
Hooked A Turtle, Now What?
'If you accidentally hook a turtle do not return the turtle to the water with the hook intact!'
Should you be in a boat, canoe, on a dock or at the shoreline slowly reel in the slack fishing line. To ease the turtle in closer to where you are situated avoid reeling in the turtle when the fishing line is taunt, if at all possible. Use a net or whatever is on hand (e.g. boat hook, paddle, branch, etc.) to move the turtle in closer to where you are located.
Make sure the turtle can lift its head above water to breath while you are working on retrieving the turtle.
Do not lift the turtle out of the water using the fishing line, this will cause the hook to set in deeper and result in further injury. Do not lift the turtle out of the water by their tail. This could paralyze a turtle as their tail is fused to their spine.
Using a net gently remove the turtle from the water. If a net is not available or the turtle is too big carefully grasp the turtle by the back of their shell and gently lift the turtle out of the water. Any sized turtle accidentally caught will be panicked, and will struggle, scratch and bite in an attempt to escape. Stay very alert!
Once the turtle is safely out of the water and with you the fishing line can be cut so the hook can be removed. Please make sure to leave at least 1 foot of line past the mouth and secure the line to prevent the turtle from swallowing the line.
Anglers are typically experienced with removing hooks and the challenges that can at times accompany this process.
Barbless Hooks - Needle nose pliers usually work well to remove the hook. As you grasp the hook and curve it back the way it went in, the turtle is unable to retreat into its shell.
Micro-Barbed Hooks - With this hook being a compromise between a barbed and barbless hook it may be easily removed or difficult depending on where the turtle was hooked.
Barbed/Semi-Barbed Hooks - Do not attempt to remove the hook unless you're able to easily cut off the barbed end that is poking through the turtles face or neck.
Removing Hook (Snapping Turtles)
If a snapping turtle is accidentally hooked we highly recommend that you carefully retrieve the turtle from the water. Once in your possession and contained in a well ventilated bin or box contact the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) home of Ontario's turtle hospital at 705-741-5000 as soon as possible no matter where you are located in Ontario. There is 'no charge' for the medical attention provided and they will arrange transport for the turtle to get to the turtle hospital or the nearest first responder if you are not able to drive the turtle there. This is the best option to minimize the stress to the turtle, ensure the hook can be safely removed and tend to related concerns that may not be outwardly apparent. Attempting to remove a hook from a Snapping turtles is a challenge because they are very strong, scared and difficult to handle under such circumstances. The person attempting to remove the hook is at risk of getting scratched, bit or ending up with a flesh wound. Despite having the best of intentions efforts to remove a hook could make matters worse.
Important note: If the hook enters the eye or surrounding tissue, DO NOT attempt to remove, as any attempt may lead to a more serious injury, including potential blindness and/or the loss of the eye. The OTCC should be contacted immediately so the turtle can be examined and treated by a veterinarian.
We love that there are anglers that want to help a turtle and are willing to attempt to remove a hook from a Snapping turtle accidentally hooked but please consider all we have mentioned. No one will think any less of you for calling the OTCC for help. It makes you a super hero in our eyes and many other concerned Ontarian's!
All options should be weighed out for both the angler and the turtle before attempting to remove hooks if that is what you intend to do.
If you feel confident about being able to remove a hook from a Snapping turtle this should be done with two people. One person to hold the turtle, the second to carefully work on removing the hook. Anglers that have hooked a Snapping turtle and successfully removed a hook suggest wrapping the turtle in a cloth, towel, jacket or shirt if possible to gently contain their limbs and perhaps calm them. Snapping turtles are extremely muscular. The person holding the turtle needs to have a firm but gentle grip and keep their fingers, hands, arms, etc. beyond the reach of the turtles long neck. Please be extremely careful!
Depending on where the hook is located offering the turtle a small length of branch may tempt the turtle to clamp on to it, keeping their mouth busy while you attempt to remove hook. This isn't always helpful as it may prevent you from fully accessing the area the hook is located.
If a barbed hook, you need to cut the hook with wire cutters and pull both halves out of the mouth. Do not pull a hook out with the barb on it this will cause more damage.
Being able to slide a hook out of a turtle’s mouth with minimal handling so the turtle will swim away in as good a condition as possible is the goal. However, hook wounds that may appear minor to you and/or prolonged attempts to remove the hook often do more harm than good, again being reasons why the turtle is best seen to by a veterinarian.
When a fishing hook cannot easily be removed or any related concerns please call the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) home of Ontario's turtle hospital at 705-741-5000 as soon as possible.
Removing Hook (Smaller Turtle Species)
Removing a hook from a smaller turtle species such as Painted turtle is manageable with one person. Having a second person hold the turtle makes the process easier. Wrapping the turtle in a cloth, towel, jacket or shirt and if possible to gently contain their limbs and may help calm the turtle. With a pair of pliers or if necessary by hand gently remove the hook the same way it went in. If the hook cannot be easily removed the OTCC should be contacted.
IF YOU GET BIT
Snapping turtles will resort to defensive behavior on land if they feel threatened or are handled, injured in some way or are harassed. Do not be fooled by size with the exception of turtle hatchlings any sized turtle will readily bite perceived predators. Snapping turtles have the disadvantage of not being able to retreat into their shell like most other turtle species when they feel threatened because their plastron (under shell) is very small and not designed to accommodate this. This leaves them feeling vulnerable thus causing them to resort to defensive behavior for self preservation sake.
A state of being we can all relate to and understand if feeling threatened. Whereas we have words as our first line of defense if feeling threatened snapping turtles have their snap. Do not judge them harshly for this! In the water, snapping turtles usually swim away from threats.
It should come as no surprise that attempting to remove a fishing hook from a snapping turtle or any turtle species would be stressful and could result in a turtle resorting to biting, scratching, hissing in self-defense. Careful handling and holding the turtle away from your body is the key to preventing bites. If a bite should occur injuries are usually not severe, because snapping turtles don’t have enough strength in their jaws to bite through bone. A turtle’s mouth is made up of the lower and upper mandibles (jaw), each of which is beak-like and covered with a tough layer of keratin. Turtles lack teeth but are able to tear or cut prey with their sharp beak therefore able to inflict a flesh wound.
If a turtle latches on to you while attempting to remove a fishing hook, do your best to remain calm, do not attempt to pull or pry the turtle’s mouth off of you. This will frighten the turtle and/or could worsen the damage to your skin and cause the turtle more pain. To remove a turtle that has latched try placing the turtle in water until the turtle lets go. Usually, a turtle will see this as a chance at freedom and will opt to take it.
Once the turtle has released their grip, move away and allow the turtle time to calm down, if possible. If you need to remove the turtle from the water because the hook is still intact or the turtle has sustained an injury, be sure to grasp the turtle by the back of their shell and hold the turtle away from your body. Be careful not to drop the turtle. This could cause injury.
If bitten treat the wounded area with an antibacterial gel or spray ASAP! Turtles in the wild are living in a much cleaner environment then a pet red-eared slider in captivity that is living in their own feces. The chances of contracting salmonella from a turtle in the wild are significantly reduced however, as a precaution any bite caused by a turtle that breaks the skin needs to be treated by a medical professional. Antibiotics may be needed, as well as thorough cleaning of the wound. If the skin is not broken, wash the area bitten with soap and water.
Infection can occur from 'any' animal bite. This is due to bacteria that comes from the animal’s mouth or may be present on the human’s skin. The infections are often caused by these bacteria penetrating the skin. Animal bites on the fingers or hands are susceptible to infections because these areas are where the body may have a harder time fighting infection.
As the bacteria multiply, the body’s immune response causes common symptoms of infection. Swelling and inflammation are two examples. Animal bite infections are serious if left untreated.
Note: A puncture from a fish hook is often dirty from aquatic bacteria, which increases the chance of a skin infection, so be certain to consult a doctor about available medications for the treatment of fishhook wounds. People who experience a fishhook puncture should be immunized for tetanus if more than 5 years have passed since their last inoculation.
Under no circumstances should a snapping turtle that has bitten a person be killed. The minute a fishing line is put into the water there is the potential this activity could result in hooking a turtle. It is the person fishing that caused the mishap should a turtle get hooked, it is not the turtles fault, please remember this. Upon death, a turtle’s jaw in response will clamp down with even more pressure, which will cause more injury. A dead turtle cannot release their grip.
In accordance with the Ontario Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act it is a fineable offence to harm or kill turtles or any species at risk.
ABOUT THE TURTLE HOSPITAL
The OTCC will provide medical care for the turtle at ‘no’ charge and can arrange transportation for the turtle via their network of volunteer turtle taxi drivers. The OTCC trained staff will assess the turtle concern you have called about and determine the best course of action.
The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) is home to Ontario’s turtle hospital. It is located at 1434 Chemong Road, Unit #4 in Peterborough and is presently the ‘ONLY’ wildlife rehabilitation centre in Ontario dedicated soley to providing medical and rehabilitative care to the Ontario turtles. The OTCC admits injured turtles from across the province. Once treated and rehabilitated, the turtles are released back into their natural habitat at the point of origin where it is hoped they will live a long life and continue to reproduce for many decades. For more information
FISHING LINE, GEAR & TACKLE
'Never leave your fishing line, gear or tackle behind!
Turtles can easily get swept up or entangled in tackle, lines, and nets that are left in the water, which will eventually kill them. Fishing line may also get wrapped around a turtles neck and suffocate the turtle, or it could get wrapped around the legs, get tangled, and cause serious injury in this way. Other aquatic wildlife are also at risk of death from leftover fishing gear and tackle that finds its way into the water as well.
In addition to fishing hook injuries, there are injuries that can be caused by a turtle ingesting a fishing lure or getting tangled in fishing line. Make sure not to leave any fishing tackle or line behind after fishing. Just like us turtles and other wildlife need a healthy and clean environment to thrive. Please do not discount any injury to a turtle as the result fishing, ingesting a lure or getting tangled in fishing line as being minor and not serious enough to require medical attention.
If a turtle has sustained injuries from swallowing a hook or getting tangled in fishing line, please call the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC), home to Ontario’s turtle hospital at 705-741-5000.
FISHING FOR ANSWERS
The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) home of Ontario’s turtle hospital reports there are a number of turtles admitted each year as a result of non-fishing related injuries that when examined the turtles x-ray shows a fishing hook and/or fishing line swallowed at some point. This raises concerns regarding the actual number of turtles that had been faced with similar circumstances and are in poor health or will be or that have died as as result a hook ingested. There is no way to determine how many turtles are accidentally hooked on fishing lines and returned to the water with a hook intact each year in Ontario. However, when talking with anglers it is evident that the number of turtles accidentally hooked and returned to the water annually is far greater than the number of turtles admitted to the OTCC with fishing related injuries.
Why? This is not because anglers intend harm towards turtles or don't care about turtles. Many anglers are conservationists that engage in catch and release fishing practices.
So why do some anglers cut their fishing line causing a turtle to be left with a hook intact?
The reason varies but largely it comes down to being what was done in the past and passed down from one generation to the next way before there was a turtle hospital or there was the understanding of species at risk that there is now. Some anglers just don’t realize the impact returning a turtle to the water with a hook intact can have or that there is a turtle hospital in Ontario that offers medical services and transport to help turtles in this way. Some cut the line when it is a Snapping turtle because they don't want to attempt to remove the hook from a species of turtle that will likely put up a struggle. And we understand that but in those cases when a Snapping turtle is accidentally hooked all we are asking is that the turtle be retrieved from the water, put in a well ventilated bin or box the turtle cannot climb out of and then reported to the OTCC at 705-741-5000. They will arrange a ride for the turtle to the turtle hospital or nearest first responder. Moving forward it is important to connect with anglers to ensure they know about the turtle hospital and that there is help available to them should they accidentally hook a Snapping turtle or smaller turtle species.
Join us in letting anglers know about the turtle hospital being a resource available to all Ontarian’s to help people help turtles and protect Ontario's turtle population.
Whether used properly or improperly using a baitfish trap introduces a device into the aquatic environment that could give cause for turtle misadventure. This presents the possibility of harm to a turtle by way of entanglement, dismemberment, injury or death. It is our recommendation that anglers not personally harvest baitfish and instead purchase baitfish locally within their resident Bait Management Zone (BMZ) as per the new rules under Ontario’s Sustainable Bait Management Strategy, effective on January 1, 2022. The new strategy contributes to limiting the ecological risks associated with invasive species and diseases that threaten the health of native fisheries and aquatic ecosystems. As well as the use and movement of bait in Ontario.
BOATING & PERSONAL WATERCRAFT
A boat or personal watercraft strike can cause an injury to a turtle or result in death, especially if the strike involves a motor propeller. Turtle losses have a detrimental effect on a localized turtle population. If you venture into a lake, river or pond that turtles inhabit please be mindful of their presence. Boat strikes are usually accidental, but there have been incidences where turtles have been hit deliberately. Turtles are very much at home in water and move faster than they do on land, so often they are able to move out of the way of a boat or watercraft; however, on occasion timing can work against them. If you accidentally hit a turtle or know of a turtle that was struck or injured while in the water please call OTCC immediately.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO HELP TURTLES
On average between 2018 – 2022, over 1,000 injured turtles have been admitted to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) home of Ontario’s turtle hospital each turtle season. 90% of the admissions each year are the result of turtles being struck by a motor vehicle. Other 10% of admissions are to do with injuries incurred from fishing, boating, personal watercraft, animal attacks (domestic/wild), deliberate harm, land development, road works, construction and turtle misadventures.
Note: In 2021, ‘1,508’ injured turtles were admitted to the OTCC. As of July 18, 2022 ‘1,379’ injured turtles have been admitted.
10% of turtle admissions for reasons other than vehicle strikes may seem like a low percentage, but Ontario’s declining turtle population cannot sustain losses to any degree. Even what appears as low levels of turtle mortality are sufficient enough to impact localized and provincial turtle populations.
To better understand why the 10% is just as concerning as the 90%, consider the following. At one end of the spectrum each year there are a large number of adult turtles lost to road mortality, habitat loss and illegal activities (turtles removed from the wild). Turtles of all ages are important but the ‘ADULT’ turtles are vital for species recovery efforts. They are the breeding pool for future generations of turtles. Turtles unlike most other animal species are very slow to repopulate and make up for losses. Species such as Snapping turtles and Blanding’s turtles can take upwards of 17 to 20 years to reach sexual maturity.
At the other end of the spectrum turtle nest predation is extremely prevalent each year and the survival rate for turtle eggs and hatchlings is less then 1%. Predation continues to increase dramatically each year as a result of factors such as increased mink, skunk and fox populations in some regions along with a significant increase to the raccoon population. With both urban and rural settings being hospitable for raccoons, increased availability of food sources, more access to inviting structures they can den in and climate change working in their favor, raccoon populations are on the rise as turtle populations decline.
A balance in nature existed years ago, with some turtles’ eggs being a food source various wildlife relied upon. The other turtle eggs developed through the incubation period, produced hatchings, reached adulthood and sexual maturity, repeating the cycle. The efficiency at which this cycle operates has been disrupted. With an high number of nests predated each turtle season, fewer hatchlings surviving to adulthood and a high number of adult turtle losses each year this has caused the natural cycle for species recovery to be challenged and compromised.
Due to these challenges there is a concerning gap forming resulting in a species at risk and in crisis. Replacing just one deceased adult Blanding’s turtle or Snapping turtle could take as many as 60 years to replace itself.
Please take matters to do with a turtle getting hooked on a fishing line serious! Turtles help keep our lakes clean and play a role in maintaining a health fish population, it is important to look out for the well-being of the turtle population in Ontario. Safeguarding turtles from harm is integral to species recovery efforts aimed at helping return this most vulnerable species back to their former, healthy populations. Thank you!
If you have questions regarding this subject or any other turtle related matters please do not hesitate to get in touch with Kelly at Think Turtle Conservation Initiative at 647-606-9537 (phone/text) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook: thinkturtleci or checkout our website at thinkturtle.ca for more information.
The attached link is for a poster made available courtesy of the Canadian Wildlife Federation to help raise awareness. It would be great if you could print off a few copies to hang up in your community at the local marina, boat launch, community boards, etc. This would help to increase public awareness and be beneficial to the turtle population where you are situated.
What To Do If You Hook A Turtle poster link: https://cwf-fcf.org/en/resources/downloads/booklets-handouts/htt_fishhook_en_lr.pdf
Painted turtle accidentally hooked on a fishing line. Photo: Chantal Theijn