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General News · 25th September 2018
Matt C
I have heard from a handful of folks that one or more turtles existed in Gunflint Lake at some point in recent history. The assumption was that escaped or discarded pets had found suitable habitat. I was surprised to learn that a Coastal Western Painted Turtle exists! Although outside of the range description given by most publications, Gunflint and Hague Lakes are prime habitat for this species. Has anyone had a recent encounter with these mythical beasts? See below link for more info:
several years ago
Comment by Gina on 29th September 2018
Hi Matt,

I have seen 5-7 turtles on a log in Gunflint Lake about 7 years ago.
I have not seen any since.

Comment by Katz on 26th September 2018
5 years ago a red eared slider showed up in our pond and Gertie has lived here ever since. I’ve often wondered if turtles ate social Gertie would be happier with a companion.
The Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
Comment by Christian Gronau on 26th September 2018
We have seen as many as 5 Red-eared Sliders sunning themselves on logs in Gunflint Lake in past years. Recently that number seems to have gone down to only a single individual at a time.
We know of one Red-eared Slider in Anvil Lake.
The nearest reliable record of a Western Painted Turtle that we are aware of is from Texada Island.
We emailed a couple of relevant photographs to you, Matt, including Oliver's shot of the egg-laying female at Linnaea. C&A
Herpetology Coolness
Comment by Mike Moore on 26th September 2018
Thanks for this Matt! I'll keep my eyes open.
a red-eared slider
Comment by oliverk on 26th September 2018
Yes, there have been turtles in Gunflint for years. I have a positive ID of a single red-eared slider female who used to be spotted laying her eggs in the Linnaea Farm field next to the lake. Here is the iNaturalist posting
There may be others, but as far as I know they aren't the native Western Painted turtles that are found from Campbell River south. Salt Spring has a good population in some of their lakes.
Teenage mutant gunflint turtles
Comment by Jason (JT) on 26th September 2018
I've seen one on the floating log island close to the fire dept. box. Turned around to get a better look, force of habit closed the door and as soon as I did it jumped in the water. Was a definite turtle about dinner plate size.