I took a walk along the Scioto Mile this afternoon and was pleased to see a row of painted turtles sunning themselves atop some cutoff stumps along the river’s eastern shoreline. There originally were turtles on virtually every one of the small outcroppings in the water, but by the time I got into a position to take the photograph above a number of the terrapins had slid off their perches into the water, and only three of the turtles remained.
I don’t believe I’ve seen turtles in the Scioto River before, and I took it as a good sign that the river’s overall health continues to improve. Studies indicate that freshwater turtles can play an important role in maintaining and improving the health of rivers, because turtles are scavengers and help to remove fish carcasses and other edible debris that might otherwise harm the quality of river water.
I like turtles, and I look forward to seeing more of them in my walks along the Scioto. I hope the presence of turtles means the fish population in the river is growing as well.