Turtles From Out Of State Make Chadakoin Their Home

JAMESTOWN – The Chadakoin River, long the home to carp, bass and other fish species, has a new resident, or at least newly discovered on the banks of the river.
The spiny softshell turtle, not apparently native to New York, has been seen a lot lately along the banks of the Chadakoin and along the River Walk. It is one of the largest freshwater turtles in North America. Experts think the turtles may have migrated here decades ago.
The National Wildlife Foundation’s website says the spiny softshell turtle ranges from southern Canada through central eastern America and into Mexico. They can live to be as old as 60.

Photo by Rory Pollaro

While the turtle is not considered dangerous, experts say it is vulnerable to pollution, predation and loss of habitat. In New York, in part because of their common rarity, the turtles are targeted as “special concern” animals, garnering attention and consideration to keep them from reaching endangered status.
The City of Jamestown has revamped a section of its Riverwalk design to accommodate the turtles. Designers added more rocks to the projects along the Riverwalk and  added a series of stepping-stones to allow the turtless access to the river and the river bank, known as Turtle Ladders.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, from 1990 to 2007 there were only 20 reports of the turtle in New York.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve seen soft shell turtles from Fairmount ave. and upstream since 1961, and had one for a pet.

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