The ladies are back! Female snapping turtles - that is - and they are crossing the roads all over the Upper Valley to lay their eggs and then cross back over the road to return to the pond or lake where they live. They can continue their egg laying until July 15 or longer. Female painted turtles are also on the move right now.
A number of these grand dames are being carefully escorted across the road by concerned citizens.
If you see a turtle in the road please contact NH Fish & Game dispatch at 603-271-3361 and they will come out to help. Take every precaution if you attempt to move the turtle yourself. Never pull it by the tail as you can permanently injure its spine.
A big hot spot for snapping turtles is the stretch of road on Rte. 120 in Lebanon, between the Elements Hotel and the Volkswagen dealership near Heater Road. Please stay alert, drive carefully, and report any sightings of snapping turtles to NH Fish & Game dispatch at 603-271-3361. This stretch of road is far too dangerous to make any attempt at rescues and should be done by a wildlife professional.
Around the second or third week of August, the eggs will begin to hatch and you will see silver dollar-size hatchlings scurrying across the road and headed toward the water. If you see a wayward hatchling, please put it right in the water where it was headed.
Snapping turtles are referred to as the "janitors" of our lakes and ponds. They eat the detritus at the bottom and are very efficient cleaners. Without them, our pond and lake waters would look pretty murky and muddy.