The Effect Of The Slider Turtle "Pseudemys Scripta Scripta" (Schoepff) On The Production Of Fish In Farm Ponds

Four similar one-quarter-acre ponds were stocked with 1,500 bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque, and 100 largemouth black bass, Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede), fingerlings per acre in the spring of 1950. Two of the ponds were enclosed with board fences and stocked with slider turtles, Pseudemys scripta scripta (Schoepff) at the rate of 100 per acre. The four experimental ponds were fertilized and managed identically. The ponds were drained in the fall of 1950, and the average yield of fish in the ponds containing turtles was compared to that in the control ponds. It was found that the average yield of fish in the ponds containing slider turtles was approximately 258 pounds per acre while in the control ponds it was 264 pounds per acre. The contents of 58 slider turtle stomachs that were trapped from various ponds in Central Alabama were analyzed and it was found that the food consisted of approximately 80 percent vegetable matter and 20 percent animal matter. Filamentous algae made up approximately 45 percent of the total diet while fish constituted less than 3 percent.

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