Turtle-ific Idea

Jun 13, 2018

To the Editor:

I live on the bay in Manahawkin. We have a pool, and each year when the terrapins come from the bay to lay their eggs in our yard, they often find their way into the pool. After years of “turtle patrol” and helping the turtles out of the pool with a long pool skimmer, the process gets frustrating.

The turtles are extremely fast when they catch a glimpse of you approaching. We’ve done many laps around the pool chasing turtles! In addition, they are heavy when you’re in a bent-over position, trying to hoist them from the bottom of the pool, keeping them against the wall of the pool without letting them get out of the skimmer.

So, after all these years of rescue, I decided there had to be a better way. I began trying to put makeshift ramps in the pool, but when the turtles saw the strange gizmos, they were afraid. Finally, one day I had my “ah ha” moment.

I took a piece of white rubber gripping material that you can use under rugs or to line drawers. I cut a piece approximately 9 by 12 inches and attached it with clear Gorilla tape in the shallow end on the side of the steps. The gripper material just hits the water’s edge and is taped on the plastic of the steps. This way, it’s very unobtrusive.

Last season was the first time I employed this brainstorm. After I adhered the gripping material, I noticed a turtle in the pool. I purposely restrained myself from grabbing the skimmer and decided to ignore the turtle to see if my invention was going to work. About 10 minutes later, I went back out and ... the turtle was gone! From that day, there never again was an instance where I had to rescue another turtle.

When our pool was opened this year, the first thing I did was attach my turtle ladder. I’m a happier camper, and I know my terrapin friends are ecstatic to be able to have their independence and escape back to the bay without the anxiety of the chase.

You might want to share this with readers so any bayfront pool owners can shed their rescue equipment for a chance to give the terrapins their dignity back.

Phyllis Busch


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