On September 6th, 2022, at 6:00 pm, I was conducting a turtle survey at McGuire Lake in Salmon Arm when I thought I might have seen a Red-Eared Slider. I noticed a turtle swimming not too far from the shore that had yellowish striations on its carapace (top of the shell). I didn’t want to miss my chance to catch an invasive species so I quickly got my net and managed to catch the turtle. It turned out to be a false alarm and the turtle was actually an indigenous Western Painted Turtle with a faded shell. I took a quick video and then released the turtle back into the pond. I have caught several Red-Eared Sliders from the wild over the years, but this was the first time I accidently caught a Western Painted Turtle. Even experienced turtle specialists can sometimes misidentify their species!
For more information on how to identify turtles in the Okanagan please visit:
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