The state has supposedly introduced softshells into the maurice river system back in the n80-'s but I have yet to actually see any.I have no reason to doubt the eastern piny softshell which i believe is the species introduced can make it here.I used to live in florida and seen the florida spiny softshell frequently.I have never caught one and here they have much the temperment of a snapper with an even longer neck????
Of course any turtle released this time of year is screwed.It takes time to go into hibernation mode and bury into the mud.They can't be thrown out of a warm car onto a frozen roadside or into a frozen pond and expected to survive.I doubt they would do well in the acidic fish poor streams of the barrens anyway.More of a tidewater turtle i believe.
Is the species pictured in the article even the same one that lives in the American south? It looks to have a shorter snout and appears to have some kind of facial markings. I am not a turtle expert at all, but these things jumped out at me based on photos I've taken in the Everglades like this one: