From the Bay, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

Remember the Terrapin!

Remember the Terrapin!

Photos from the

MD Dept of Natural Resource

“Remember the terrapin, when you set out crab pots this year,” says Dr. Chris Rowe, Associate Professor and Terrapin Researcher with the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science located on Solomons Island.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources receives reports every year of diamondback terrapins trapped in crab pots.  Dr. Rowe explained, “The terrapins are enticed by the bait, but when they try to come up for air, they can’t, so they drown.”  He recommends a Turtle Excluder Device (TED).  “If recreational crabbers would put a TED on the crab pot, it would keep the turtles from entering the trap, but crabs can still get in.”

Abandoned crab pots have been found with dozens of drowned terrapins, deaths that can seriously hurt terrapin populations.  TED devices are simple to make, and many stores have ready-made TEDS that are easy to attach to the crab pot.  “This small adjustment can make a big difference,” adds Rowe.  Recreational crabbing season begins April 1, 2020.

The TED’s can be purchased at hardware stores, fishing tackle stores and some crabbers craft them themselves or they can be ordered online.

If you want to see exactly how a TED works check out this Maryland Department of Natural Resources Video more information about where to buy and how to apply turtle excluder devices log on

About the Laboratory: For more than 90 years, CBL has been a national leader in fisheries, estuarine ecology, environmental chemistry and toxicology. CBL scientists are developing new scientific approaches to solving the major environmental problems facing our world.  For more about CBL and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science  To support students and programs at CBL go to

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