Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The story of 3 fishing hooks and a turtle named Murtle

(Above: Picture of painted turtle that I had caught a few years back in the same area. look how amazing the coloring is on the bottom of these creatures. I don’t think this is Murtle but could be one of her relatives.)

AURORA - A turtle who nearly died from swallowing fish hooks is doing well thanks to some good Samaritans and a generous local vet. She's been named "Murtle the Turtle" and will be returned to the pond on Wednesday.

The turtle got into big trouble at a pond near Interstate 70 and Ward Road last Wednesday. She had a fishing hook caught in her mouth, and was tangled in a net two feet under water. She could barely come up for air.

Murtle would have died had it not been for the curiosity of Ronald Groves and Robin Haney. The couple was walking around the pond, when they noticed a fishing line that led from a tree into the water. They decided to follow the line to see what might be at the other end. That's when they found Murtle struggling to stay alive.

They immediately untangled her, and tried to remove the hook on her mouth. They couldn't get it out, so they brought the turtle to Seven Hills Veterinary Center located at 18511 East Hampden Avenue in Aurora.
Dr. Michael Ley immediately had the turtle X-rayed, which revealed even bigger problems. In addition to the hook in her mouth, Murtle had two more fishing hooks lodged inside of her. The hooks had torn her esophagus, preventing her from eating.

Ley also discovered Murtle had pneumonia .
Ley performed two surgical procedures, lasting two hours each, to remove the two hooks she swallowed. The hook on her mouth was the easiest to remove.

Ley also gave Murtle injectable antibiotics , and put her on a feeding tube.

Staff blended nutritional supplements with water, and put it in the feeding tube. It's not ideal turtle food, but Ley says he had to do something to give her nutrition and strength, since her esophagus was damaged and she didn't want to eat.

Now she is back to herself and was discharged from the clinic on Tuesday. Groves and Haney plan to return her to the pond Wednesday morning.
Link to full article and pictures of Murtle (proper spelling is Myrtle by the way).

Matt’s Rant: I came across this story in my pile of fishing related news links and felt obligated to pass this along. Not only do I fish here but do an annual cleanup every year. It never fails that I find plenty of fishing hooks and spent fishing line all over the place. This not only damages wildlife but severely damages the positive outlook on fishing by others. If you read through the entire article, the veterinarian is quoted as saying, “…this is why fishing hooks shouldn’t be used.”

Realize if the non-fishing community turns against the fishing community…anglers could lose a lot of privilege in regards to public water. Ill behavior by a few anglers hurts us all in the long run. This is why my constant cleanup projects and conservation mantra is a cornerstone of my blogilicious. Next time you see some spent fishing line or hooks laying on the ground at your fishing waters, pick it up and say…”This one is for you, Murtle.”

Good Luck and Good Fishing


Wolfy said...

Good article, and grerat rant. It can't be overstated that we (as a fishing community) need to police our ranks, educate everyone, and clean up after the slobs

Stone Fox said...

Turtles get pneumonia? Jeez that's scary.

Poor little thing is a trooper!

BeMistified said...

I am so glad that the turtle is okay. The saying "Do unto others as they have done unto you" makes me want to go and shove hooks down the throats of those who left them on the shoreline, or go to their home and dump the trash onto their property that was picked up right after they were fishing. Ugh pick up your trash people!

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I have never seen a turtle like that.. Is it only found in Colorado? Its beautiful... The story touched me, I have a fondness for turtles- any kind- sea, desert, slider...they have such a gentleness...

Coloradocasters said...

KBF: Painted turtles have an extensive range in North America and can be found virtually anywhere there is water and insects. These turtles look fairly drab on top to blend in with their surroundings but turn them over and WOW! I’ll toss out the wiki link with more info on subspecies and whatnot.

Princess Stone Fox: I am honored that you stopped by. These turtles are pretty tough and have survived millions of years but 3 hooks nearly did this poor thing in. That is a lot to ask of any creature. It saddens me to no end that this happened on a place I clean up religiously once a year and it is still not enough to save turtles, birds and even little children’s bare feet from this type of thing…humans don’t deserve such a wonderful planet if they treat it so.

Bemistified: I didn’t want to bring this up but the turtle was actually attached to some sort of “trot line” meaning an angler baited up a hook (this is artificial lure only regulated water by the way so this is a double no-no) and left it. I would also assume that the other hooks were baited as well…otherwise the turtle would have little or no interest. The discarded hooks are a problem but folks are flat out breaking every posted regulation that exists out here and wildlife pays the price for the poor behavior. More vigilance is required.

Wolfy: Thanks, man. I know my blogilicious comes off as an “afterschool special” some times but I do what I can. Changing the overall mentality of humans is a partial goal of my fishing routine and can be a battle most of the time. Know that I clean as much as I rant and do my best to lead by example. But in some way I still feel that I have let lil Murtle down by not doing more.

Once again…this non-sponsored blog is fueled by your comments. I appreciate them greatly along with all that follow…can’t say enough about how #%$^& awesome you all are!

Shoreman said...

Bravo to those who cared enough to rescue Myrtle. Boo to those who left the hooks and line. I somtimes feel like I'm a trash collector when I'm out there. There's always trash to pick up and take home for "proper" disposal.


Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

You know, this is actually a great service done by you, for "people like me," meaning, making me aware of another way to help out the earth a tiny bit. I know enough to cut those plastic things that hold 6 packs of pop, I cut my yoplait yogurt containers down the side, I pick up trash when I see it, bits of broken glass when a bottle has been smashed, etc. And yet, walking along the Genesee River as I do, I would not necessarily think to look for, or pick up, fishing line pieces or dropped fish hooks. Now, I will. That turtle is gorgeous. I don't think we have any here quite like that, but you can bet if it helps some turtle, some fish, some dog who might get it stuck in a paw, or some fishermen... I will now be on the lookout! Thanks for giving me another way to try to be a good person.

Don said...

Nice read Matt...saw the release on the 9news last nite!! Good stuff...its all about the little things that make a difference!!

My Mane in the Wind said...

Thanks for stopping by! I love your profile description of how fishing makes you feel. I'm not a fishing gal, but I think anyone who loves nature goes into it to feel similar feelings. It just expands our horizons and takes us right past the "everyday-ness" of life. Murtle was fortunate to have been picked up by a good Samaritan, good veterinarian, and sympathetic journalist. Your do rants real good!

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Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont said...

Matt, what a super blog you have. I thought I was already one of your followers but seemingly not. Unfortunately I'm having problems adding myself via my Google account at the moment but I will keep trying. Ana

Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont said...

Silly me - I am here!

Dennis said...

Rant is on the money (thumbs up)

Paddy Pike said...

Thank you for Joining my blog Matt, I am trying to return the compliment, But google keeps sort of crashing, I have also put on a direct link to your blog,
I have read the story about myrtle and i was shocked to find out there are still fisher-persons leaving hooks and line in the water on the banks, Ok we do not have any Turtle's on this side of the big pond, But we do have the same sort of IDIOTS Who leave there rubbish, I am one of those that have to take the hooks out of Swans And every now and then we catch the odd Pike with its belly dragging in excess of 19 hooks and the line, I think your rant is very welcome, And i thank you for publisizing the article about Myrtle the Turtle,
Lets be honest, If you can carry it to the place you fish, You can carry it to the nearest bin ?,
I will keep trying to join your Blog,
Kindest regards to you and your readers,

dwd said...

I too am a little surprised at the amount of trash I find around our local waterways. I am building up a pretty good collection of perfectly good tackle that people simply leave laying on the ground.

Let's all pick up a couple pieces of trash the next time we go fishing.

Bill Trussell said...

This is why I am a lover of wildlife so much. We all should learn from this story. Glad you shared it with us.

MNAngler said...

Great post. Jim Braaten of the Sportsman's Blog also posted a cautionary tale of fishing line left hanging from trees: