Monday, August 29, 2011

What To Do If You Hook A Seaturtle

 What do you do if you accidently hook or snag a seaturtle while fishing in Florida?
The good news for both you and the seaturtles is ... it probably won't happen.

But, it might.
This young sea turtle swam too close to one of our lures and snagged a flipper. We were not able to remove the hook from his tough scaley, skin while he was in the water due to his efforts to swim away, so I used the dip net to lift him in to the boat for the 10 seconds Denny needed to pop the hook loose.

In no time this little guy was back in the water hunting the grassflats and avoiding the tiger sharks who hunt him.

The FWC (Florida Wildlife Commission) has specific guidelines for dealing with a hooked seaturtle. It turns out that we unknowingly followed them by applying common sense along with a sense of urgency in getting the turtle back into the ocean quickly and with minimal stress.


The actual guidelines can be found here.

Snagging a turtle is a pretty rare event, but if you are out there often enough, it could happen.
Check out the link above for more information.



Anyone who thinks turtles are slow has never seen a sea turtle kick it into high gear.
Watch the short video below to see what I mean.


15 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a lucky (??) encounter. Iam glad it was you fellows that know what to do and care enough to do it. The video wouldn't play for me. It said it was private. I was lucky enough to see sea turtles when on a pelagic trip to the Dry Tortugas. I even have video. FUN. The only time I have ever seen them.

mkircus said...

I had the same problem with the video. Can you make it public, please.

I hope to some day rescue turtle eggs at Padre Island National Seashore. Or help the little guys find the sea.

Floridacracker said...

Oops!
I will change the video status!

Floridacracker said...

The video status is public now.

Ericka said...

wow. he (?) was moving! such a neat experience!

Island Rider said...

Cute little guy. Lucky he was caught by you and not someone who fancied turtle soup.

Dani said...

Wowzer! He's a quick little thing!

lisa said...

That is so neat too see! I love turtles anyway. You are one lucky man to be able to see some of the things that you do!

MyamuhNative said...

FC, that was no ordinary sea turtle-that's a Ridley!
Thanks for taking good care of it.
There are way too few of them left.

threecollie said...

Thank you so much for sharing things we northern land lubbers would never otherwise see. How incredibly cool to watch the turtle flippering madly away.

Caroline said...

A creature "flying" through the Near Blue Yonder! Turtles rock!

Sandcastle Momma said...

What an incredible catch! I've never known anyone to snag one - I guess it was your lucky day. I've seen them swimming but had no idea they are so fast. Thanks for sharing with us!

Carol said...

Cute little guy...commonsense...wish we all had a bit more. Good job. You always have such an interesting blog.

robin andrea said...

What a great video and beautiful turtle. You do meet up with the coolest critters!

inasunshinestateofmind said...

I will file this under "just in case" in my mind. Good to know, thanks.