Vermont Fish & Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help with the annual spiny softshell turtle beach clean up day on Saturday, October 25.
The volunteers will remove vegetation from nesting beaches to prepare turtle nesting sites for next year. They might also find a few hatchlings that have remained in nests underground this late in the year. In addition to threatened spiny softshell turtles, these nest sites are also used by map turtles, painted turtles, and snapping turtles.
“This is a great way to help conserve a threatened species right here in Vermont, It’s also a fun way to learn more about the turtles and to see some recently hatched baby turtles. Last year we had nearly 50 participants, so we’re anticipating a strong turnout again this year.” ~ Steve Parren, Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologist.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologist Steve Parren will have hatchling spiny softshell turtles on hand and will talk about his long-term recovery efforts with the species. Some hatchling turtles will be raised in captivity by the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center while they are small and most vulnerable to predation. They will be released back into Lake Champlain next spring.
Participants for the Turtle Beach Clean Up Day should arrive at North Hero State Park between 10 and 11 AM., dress in layers of warm clothes, and bring work gloves, a leaf rake, short-handled tools such as trowels, and their own lunch. Families and kids are welcome. The cleanup may run until 4 PM.
North Hero State Park is located in the Lake Champlain Islands. To get there: follow Route 2 north past Carry Bay in North Hero, turn right on Lakeview Drive (just before Route 2 swings west toward Alburgh), and follow Lakeview until you reach the North Hero State Park entrance sign on the left. Drive to the end of the road always bearing right.