Back at it again this week with another return to the swamp for the 9th Annual Blanding’s Bowl with the Lake County crew. Every team of biologists, vets, and students set out traps at the beginning of the week and spent the rest of the time checking traps and tallying points. The stars of the show were the Blanding’s turtles (top left), worth the highest point value. We were there to assist with the sample collection and health assessments for all the Blanding’s turtles found. Slightly less points awarded for other species of turtles, like the very stylish painted turtle Varun is holding (bottom row, second from right). No points for all other bycatch, which included crayfish, tadpoles (like the one I’m holding), and lots of fish. Negative points to any team that catches a snapper, but as you can see, we didn’t have much success avoiding them. In the end, the biologists prevailed taking home adorable victory turtle coffee mugs.

Shout out to Dr. Laura, Dr. Kaitlin, Caroline, Varun, and the amazing biologists and field techs of Lake County for having us out this week! We had a blast (even if you lost me in the swamp for an hour- thanks GPS) and were glad to get yet another opportunity to be out in the field promoting wild turtle health.