Recreational turtle license

What species of turtles may be taken?

Only the following species of turtles may be taken:

  • western painted turtle (Chrysemys pica bellii)
  • snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine)
Angling License Required

Through Dec. 31, 2023, an angling license is required to harvest turtles. A recreational turtle license, a turtle seller's license, or a turtle seller's apprentice license is required to use floating or submerged traps, turtle hooks and other commercial fishing gear. Except for renewals, no turtle seller's licenses will be issued.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, an angling license and a recreational turtle license will be required to harvest turtles using angling gear like hook and line, landing nets and gaff hooks. In the past, only an angling license was required. Traps will not be not allowed. Individuals under 16 do not need a recreational turtle license, and turtle races are not affected by this change.

Turtle propagation

A person with an aquatic farm or private fish hatchery license listing turtles as approved species can obtain, possess, transport, and propagate, and sell turtles and turtle eggs.  

  • $25/yr: recreational turtle license
Request an Application

Email [email protected] to request a license application.

Helpful Links

Turtle Statutes

Turtle Rules

Code of Federal Regulations - Title 21


Contact Mandy Erickson, fisheries program consultant, by emailing [email protected].

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