Make a Turtle Trap at Home
Turtles benefit pond and stream ecosystems because they clean the area from dead or dying organisms. However, they sometimes interfere with fishing activities. They eat fish food, fish caught on the line and fish baits, sometimes becoming hooked on the fishing line. Turtle mesh traps usually exploit the turtle's habit of basking in the sun. Make your own wire mesh trap at home using PVC coated wire mesh. This mesh trap has a rectangular PVC coated wire mesh frame that floats on water and a wire cage attached around the frame to contain the trapped turtles
Place the ends of your 4-inch PVC coated wire mesh together to form a rectangle, using 90-degree elbow PVC pipes for the four corners. Use any length of PVC coated wire mesh because any size will work effectively to catch turtles. If only one person will handle the trap, keep the size to a maximum of 4 by 4 feet to make it manageable.
Apply PVC coated wire mesh glue to areas where two pieces of pipe meet. Wait for the glue to dry and add silicone sealer to the outside surfaces of the joints to prevent leaks
Wrap a piece of plastic-coated welded wire mesh around the outside of the PVC coated wire mesh frame to determine the appropriate size for the wire cage. It should have a depth of about 2 feet. Remove the PVC pipe frame.
Fasten the area where the edges of the piece of wire meet using hog rings and a pair of hog-ring pliers. With hog rings in the pliers, squeeze the pliers along the length of wire that you want to secure, leaving about 1 inch between the hog rings. This structure will serve as the sides of the wire cage.
Cut a rectangular piece or plastic-coated welded wire mesh the same size as the outside of the PVC coated wire mesh frame. Attach this piece to one open end of the sides of the wire cage, using hog-ring pliers and stainless-steel hog rings as before. The wire cage now has four walls and a floor. Leave the top of the cage open. The turtles will enter the cage from the top.
Attach the top of the wire cage to the PVC coated wire mesh frame, tying them together using plastic cable ties or plastic coated wire. Adjust the position so that the top of the wire cage sits at the same level as the top of the PVC pipe frame or slightly higher.
Cut a piece of plastic-coated welded wire mesh into a square with sides measuring 16 to 24 inches. Fold it into two equal portions so it forms a "V" shape when you see it from the side. This piece of wire mesh will serve as a ramp so the turtles can enter the trap.
Hold the piece of wire so that the folded line is horizontal and located away from the cage. Attach the top edge of the ramp to the top side of the cage. Attach the bottom edge of the ramp about 6 to 10 inches below the top edge. Use stainless steel hog rings, cable ties or plastic-coated wire to fasten the ramp to the cage.
Place the trap in the water near the edge of the pond. Loop a length of fishing wire twice around the diameter of the PVC coated wire mesh frame and tie the other end of the wire to a stone or a block by the edge of the pond. When you want to check the trap, pull the wire to bring the trap closer to you.
Place about 1 tbsp. of fish food, dead fish or pet food in the trap to lure turtles inside. Turtles will climb into the cage and will not be able to climb up the slippery PVC coated wire mesh. By this way, we can also make some rat trap.