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1. A commercial turtle harvester license is required to operate commercial gear and to take, attempt to take, possess, transport, sell,
barter, or trade commercial turtles or turtle eggs.
2. A commercial turtle buyer license is required to engage in the business of buying, bartering, or trading commercial turtles or turtle eggs.
Commercial turtle buyers may only purchase turtles from a licensed commercial turtle harvester.
3. A person possessing a commercial fishing license may possess and sell any commercial fish or turtles or their parts which have been
lawfully taken. A person possessing a commercial turtle license may possess turtles or their parts which have been lawfully taken.
4. All intrastate and interstate shipments of commercial turtles or turtle eggs must be accompanied by a receipt which shows the name and
address of the seller, date of sale, and the species, numbers, and pounds of the turtles or turtle eggs being sold.
1. Only Common Snapping Turtles, Softshells, and Painted Turtles may be taken in Iowa. Harvest of all other species of turtles is prohibited. 2. Non-residents may only take from the Missouri, Mississippi, and Big Sioux Rivers.
3. The taking of turtle eggs from wild nests is prohibited
4. A sport fishing license is required to take turtles from the wild. Bag limit is 50 pounds. Possession limit is 100 pounds. A person cannot
buy or sell, dead or live, a turtle with a sport fishing license.
5. You can take turtles only by hand, turtle hook, turtle trap or hook and line.
1. It is unlawful to take, possess, transport, import, export, process, sell, offer for sale, buy or offer to buy Ornate box, Stinkpot, Wood
Turtle, Yellow Mud or Blandings turtles
2. A valid sport fishing license allows you to take and possess a maximum of 100 pounds of live turtles or 50 pounds of dressed turtles. No
distinction is made between native and non-native turtles. You must have a special license to sell live or dressed turtles.
3. Map Turtles and Red-eared Sliders are not addressed in the law. However, their take from the wild is unlawful so it is assumed possession
is also unlawful.
4. Possession of non-native species is not addressed and therefore assumed not regulated. However, special permits are required to buy and
sell turtles and again, no distinction is made between native and non-native species.
TAKING FROM THE WILD
SUMMARY OF IOWA TURTLE LAWS
Midland Smooth Softshell Apalone mutica mutica
Ornate Box Turtle Terrapene ornata ornata
Ouachita Map Turtle Graptemys ouachitensis ouachitensis
Red Eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans
Western Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta bellii
Western Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera hartwegi
Wood Turtle Glyptemys insculpta
Blanding's Turtle Emydoidea blandingii
Common Map Turtle Graptemys geographica
Common Musk Turtle (Stinkpot) Sternotherus odoratus
Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina serpentina
Eastern Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera spinifera
False Map Turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica
Illinois Mud Turtle Kinosternon flavescens spooneri
Nauti-Lass Ponds & Critters, Inc.
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