Reptile and Amphibian Seasons & Limits

Game Turtles

  • Eastern Snapping Turtle:

    • Season: July 1 - March 31
    • Daily Bag Limit: 4*
    • Possession Limit: 8*
    • Restrictions:
      • Turtle traps allowed with no opening below the water surface.
      • Minimum carapace length: 12 inches.
  • Smooth Softshell Turtle & Spiny Softshell Turtle:

    • Season: July 1 - March 31
    • Daily Bag Limit: Not Specified
    • Possession Limit: Not Specified
    • Restrictions:
      • Turtle traps allowed with no opening below the water surface.
      • Minimum carapace length: 12 inches.

Game Frogs

  • Green Frog & Bullfrog:
    • Season: June 15 - April 30
    • Daily Bag Limit: 25*
    • Possession Limit: 50*
    • Restrictions:
      • Frogs may be taken with:
        • Gig or spear with a head not more than 3 inches in width.
        • Long bow and arrow.
        • Club.
        • Hands alone.
        • Hand line with not more than one hook or artificial lure attached.
        • .22-caliber firearm loaded with bird shot only.
        • Air rifle firing a lead pellet (.177 diameter minimum) at least 500 feet per second.
    • Singly or in aggregate, including any combination of the species.

Reptiles and Amphibians

All reptiles and amphibians native to Indiana fall under regulated species status.

Species listed on the state- or federal-endangered species list, including frogs, lizards, salamanders, snakes, toads, or turtles, are strictly protected and may not be taken at any time. Notably, Eastern box turtles are also safeguarded and cannot be collected from the wild under any circumstances.

For native nongame amphibians and reptiles, there is a collection limit of two per day and four per year (from April 1 through March 31 of the following year) for each species. The possession limit is capped at four per species.

Specifically, Eastern snapping, smooth softshell, and spiny softshell turtles are limited to harvest between July 1 and March 31 of the following year, and they must be at least 12 inches in carapace length. Carapace length is measured as the straight-line distance along the top surface of the shell from the central point of the front edge behind the turtle’s neck to a central point on the back edge above the turtle’s tail.

A valid license is required to take a reptile or amphibian from the wild, as outlined in the Reptile/Amphibian Seasons & Limits table.

Indiana residents older than 17 must hold a valid hunting or fishing license when collecting reptiles and amphibians from the wild. Nonresident adults and nonresident youth need a nonresident annual hunting license for the same purpose.

License holders are obligated to adhere to season dates and bag limits, utilizing legal methods for collection. While individuals with valid hunting or fishing licenses may take game frog and game turtle species from DNR properties allowing hunting or fishing, air rifles and firearms are prohibited at state parks.

Other species of reptiles and amphibians are off-limits for collection on any DNR property.

The daily bag limit is 25 for game frog species and four for game turtle species, with a possession limit set at twice the daily bag limit.

Reptiles and amphibians collected from the wild in Indiana may not be sold. However, legally collected amphibians or reptiles held for fewer than 30 days may be released at their original capture site if they have never been housed with another animal.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.