From The Brooklyn Paper:
Turtles better hide in their shells — it appears someone is poaching the precious creatures from the lake in Prospect Park!
Two regular parkgoers, Anne-Katrin Titze and Ed Bahlman, discovered the shocking trap in the water last Tuesday while cleaning the area around the nest of one of their beloved swans.
The trap, which is slightly bigger than a shoebox, had a long line tethered to it, which was secured under a fallen tree.
Bahlman and Titze even said they found another trap the day before.
But park officials were hesitant to declare the traps a clear sign of poaching.
“I can’t say [if that is] a turtle trap or what kind of trap it is or what animals someone was trying to trap with it,” said Eugene Patron, a spokesman for the Prospect Park Alliance, who was shown a photograph of the apparent trap. But regardless, he added, “Trapping or capturing of wildlife is absolutely prohibited.”
It is hard to imagine what other purpose the trap could have served. The basket is not meant to capture fish, and the area where it was found is preferred among turtles, which bask on the many fallen trees on the edge of the lake.
The Daily News reported the following:
Forget the Gowanus Canal: Prospect Park's lake needs a federal cleanup - stat.
The Brooklyn lake is brimming with garbage like charcoal briquets tossed after cookouts, plastic bags and discarded fishing lines - including one that strangled a baby swan last week.
"Some parts of it are just terrible," said frequent visitor Oleg Priymak, 54, a Windsor Terrace videographer. "I've never seen anyone going around to patrol it."
Hidden among the reeds on shore are remnants of camps made by homeless people. Food wrappers, toilet paper and human waste lurk underfoot.
"This is the reality lakeside tour," said Ed Bahlman, 60, a retired engineer from Windsor Terrace. "This is what the park doesn't want you to see."
A walk around the 60-acre lake also turned up picnic trash, old clothing, beer bottles and a trap, possibly for turtles.