Snapping Turtle Regulations

Season Dates: July 15 - September 30

Bag Limits: Daily 5, Possession 10, Season 10

Size Limit: Minimum 13” shell length.

Legal Methods: Hand capture, dip net, turtle hook, floating or non-floating turtle trap, or hook and line.


  • Using traps to catch snapping turtles requires a Snapping Turtle Trapping Endorsement. Snapping Turtle Trapping Endorsements are available for free online or at DEEP offices.

Trap Restrictions: A maximum of 3 turtle traps can be used per individual at any given time, traps must be set in such manner as to allow turtles to surface and breathe and be constructed of 1” minimum mesh size.  All traps must have a functional escape hole with minimum diameter of 7.5” to allow passage of fish and smaller turtles. Box-type traps cannot exceed 4’x4’x4’ and hoop-style traps cannot exceed 84”.  Traps must be tagged with a plate or tag visible above the water line bearing the Conservation Identification Number of the trapper.  All traps may only be tended by the authorized trapper and must be checked at least once every 24 hours and emptied of catch.  Any other wildlife captured must be immediately released at the point of capture. Traps cannot be used on any body of water owned, leased or otherwise under control of the DEEP.

Nests and Eggs Protected: Turtle eggs cannot be taken and turtle nests cannot be disturbed without DEEP authorization.

The commercial trade of snapping turtles is prohibited.

Additional Resources:
Frequently Asked Questions
Snapping Turtle Fact Sheet

Content last updated on January 15, 2020.