We investigated the influence of trapping duration on freshwater turtle captures using baited hoop-nets. We trapped 9 ponds in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and 6 ponds in the Lost Pines ecoregion areas of Texas in the summer of 2010 using high-intensity, short-duration trapping (40 traps/1 day) and low-intensity, longer-duration trapping (10 traps/4 days). We found that the number of captures was not different between sampling schemes. However, the mean capture rate was twice as high after the first day of low-intensity trapping. This study showed that researchers seeking to maximize captures per-unit-effort (CPUE) should focus on the least time-intensive, labor-intensive, and expensive way to complete the trapping effort, rather than short-term temporal distribution of trapping effort.
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Vol. 10 • No. 2