View Full Version : River Otters

01-09-2006, 11:49 PM
Do you have them in your area ? They are killing the fish populations in the area's where they've been reintroduced. :roll: The old killer smallie streams of southern Ohio are getting disimated along with every pond within a half mile of the streams. What's your opinion ?

01-10-2006, 09:01 AM
They were introduced in 1995 here and I was at the first meeting before they started stocking them. There were at least 50 people attending the meeting and it looked like a bobbing head convention. I seemed to be the only one guestioning anything that was introduced. I don't want to say that there are alot of dumb sportsman out there. So I will say that they were brought up to believe what people in authority tell them. For example; otter only eat trash fish. That was stated and it seemed to make all the fisherman happy as a carp in a septic tank. I laugh when I think of all those people thinking an otter would only eat trash fish! What does it do? Throw the trout in one pile as inedilble and all the suckers and dace in another as dinner? The nickname of an otter is river wolf, which is self explanatory. Thus, leaving the trappers bearing the full burden of Project Otter. Everything else stated directly effected the trappers and beaver. Examples; Staying 15 feet off the beaver house, no traps on crossovers, and 15 feet away from any beaver dams. New trap restrictions were also mandated. At first they were voluntary, but are now law. Trap triggers on the 330 having to be moved all the way to the left or right and a 4 bolt trigger required. Otters are there and you fisherman are starting to feel the effect. Maaaaybeee they don't just eat trash fish. Maybe they eat any fish, maybe they also eat muskrat and mink, and young beaver also. But as they tree huggers say," they sure are pretty, arn't they"? Think of the bright side. At least you will have something to watch while you arn't catching any fish. Also you might want to start working on your trash fish recipe cookbook! rattrapper

01-10-2006, 01:35 PM
Otters were introduced to Honeoye Lake a few years ago. They obviously don't eat all junk fish because the lake is overrun with bass.

Glenn unl.
01-10-2006, 01:43 PM

Linda O
01-12-2006, 08:00 AM
You do not hear much talk about the otter project, I agree with many of you about the silent ignorance/misinformed people around. The Tionesta Creek near Cougar Bob's is a very active otter place. We have set trail cams and have photos of as many as 6 together!
Linda O

01-12-2006, 01:03 PM
I saw piles and piles of mussel shells along French Creek. I wondered what was eating them all? I thought maybe racoons or would this be something otters would do?

Grizzly Gary
01-13-2006, 11:13 AM

01-27-2006, 09:34 PM
There is an interesting letter to the editor in this months TRAPPER + PREDATOR CALLER magazine. The author is from PA. and states that the otter introduction has just about wiped out the muskrat population where he is located. He also states that in a 3 mile stretch of river where he has fished for years the trout population has been wiped out. He stated that he use to catch and release 30 -50 trout every time he would fish it. But, now he catches ZERO. **** rattrapper

Grizzly Gary
02-03-2006, 10:48 AM
Man messing with nature never seems to work.

Grissly Gary

02-04-2006, 09:57 AM
Just heard your Coyote talker on the radio today. He "otter" stick to Coyotes. Cause, I don't think he knows as much as he think he does about the Otter A.K.A." River Wolf". Just because he has not yet seen any changes in his area does not mean that there will not be any in the future. I had 5 rats eaten out of my rat traps last year in my best rat spot. That spot has yeilded about 40 rats and 4 mink a year for 8-9 years. It is dead this year and I took 3 rats from it. When you give any animal a free rein on the environment they will take a toll. The otter is on the top of the food chain at this time with no threat from man or animal.---------- For example, look at the Timber Wolf in Yellow Stone. When the Wolf was introduced there were 30,000 elk, now there are 6,000. I'm no Rocket Scientist, but do the math. It shows how one species can alter and could basically wipe out another species, if left unchecked. What will the wolf eat when they are done with the elk?------------- While some guys are out calling Yotes, some other guys are standing out in the creek or Beaver ponds in their chest waders checking empty rat traps. Thats what I know and those guys are the ones I talk to and get the same story. When the rats are not the "easy prey" because they are just about wiped out, then the otter will have to concentrate on the fish population. ------------rattrapper

Turkey Fan
02-04-2006, 12:43 PM
I have enjoyed reading mike's collumns for many years.Sometimes agreeing sometimes not.But i do think just because one man says that otters are not impacting the game fish
is not convincing enough.We should have heard something about what he based his opinions on.We need something based on facts.This all boils down to what are we willing to give up, to see more of the native species returned to the wild.
Has anyone heard of otters in the conewango drainage?I saw tracks in the snow along the conewango while rabbit hunting last weekend.I had never seen tracks like these before and after a search on the internet ,otter looked like the most likely culprit.

P.S Grizzly it was a good segment on coyote hunting on todays show.very informative I have been digging around looking for that old mouth call of mine ever since :D

02-05-2006, 09:37 AM
Turkey fan, most likey they were otter tracks. Yesterday I talked to few guys that know their way around the trap line. I heard about some incidental otter catches. One was in the frewsburg area near the old rendering plant. That is the Conewango isn't it? The otter was caught in a beaver set. The other in the Sherman area was caught in a rat set. Both were turned over to the authorities.--------- In New York between 1995 - 2000 they released 279 otter. There were still ongoing releases after 2000. If you use the DEC's own chart for figuring species growth rate of the Beaver and apply it to the otter. The otter numbers should be exploding shortly. With two adult Beaver left unchecked with no limiting factors such as inadequat habitat, disease, predatation, and human harvest. One breeding pair in 10 years would produce 618 beaver. If you apply this formula to the otter and multiply by 140 adult breeding pairs. 140 times 618 equals 86,520 otter in 10 years. With the population increasing by about two thirds yearly. ------------The questions now may be #1 how many fish can 86,520 otters eat in one year? #2 When will it become legal to trap otters? #3 How long before the otters "free pass" expires. Etc. Etc.--------------------One answer I have never been able to find out is exactly how many otters have been killed since the program started? Deaths from incidental catches and cars. --------- rattrapper

Turkey Fan
02-05-2006, 11:17 AM
Rattrapper you are asking the right questions that is for sure.At least they have reintoduced a species that seems to bring decent prices at the fur autions.Hopefully it will not be to far into the future ,that the furtakers be allowed to start harvesting them.

Grizzly Gary
02-06-2006, 10:27 PM
Extremely interesting conversation guys. Having never been into trapping I can only read,listen and learn. I find the sport fasinating! I thank you guys for the insight.

Grissly Gary

Grizzly Gary
02-18-2006, 04:37 PM
Picked up an interesting bit of info at the Kalbfus Rod & Game Club Coyote Hunt 2 weeks ago. Sorry it took so long to get it to you guys but I thought of you immediately. Sometimes i'm kinda slow about things. :oops:

I'll ask the web guru if he can somehow scan and download the whole thing but this paragraph caught my eye.

OTTER by Chuck Fergus, Division of Information and Education Pennsylvania Game Commission

Otters obtain most of their food from the water. Fish are favorites: minnows, sunfish, suckers, carp and TROUT. Other foods are frogs, turtles, snails, mussels (an Otter crushes the shells with its teeth), crayfish, snakes and snake eggs, worms, insects, aquatic plants, roots, and on occasion MUSKRATS.

Sounds like an eating machine to me. It also backs what you guys were saying.

It is nice to know the experts are here at GG web-site.

Grissly Gary

03-16-2006, 09:27 PM
GG, I got a suprise today when I opened up The new Trapper and Predator magazine. A couple weeks ago I emailed the editor a short letter in response to a letter someone had sent in concerning otters. I had forgotten all about it untill I saw my letter in the Trapper Mag. today. --------- rattrapper :shock:

03-16-2006, 10:05 PM
had one get aggressive with me in canada once..charged the boat several times hissing and growling..i can say this for sure,they are territorial and a lot bigger than you think the are

06-03-2006, 08:09 PM
FUR-FISH-GAME June 2006 " Ohio trappers make most of their first-ever otter season." Hal Sullivan writes about the first otter season in Ohio since they started the river otter introduction there.-------- It is open in the eastern part of the state with a limit of three otters per trapper. ---------- They introduced 123 0tters over a period of 16 years in a program that started 20 years ago.---------- NY indroduced 279 otters in a 5 year period that started in 1995.-------- New York introduced over twice the otters that Ohio did and did it in one third of the time. This should put us ahead of Ohio as far as breeding pairs and numbers of otter at this time. ---------- How many more years before western NY has a similar season as Ohio on otter? -------- They also have found out that year old females are breeding and producing litters. It was previously thought that they did not produce until 2 years of age.----------- rattrapper

06-03-2006, 10:43 PM
Hopefully you'll get a season while you still have fish left.

12-16-2006, 09:27 PM
Any body sighting any otters this year?

12-16-2006, 09:33 PM
Iowa is having their first otter season this year. They stocked 325 otters between 1985 and 1993. ------------ NYS should be following suit shortly as they they completed their stocking many years ago. --------- rattrapper

12-17-2006, 08:48 AM

This year I saw an otter, not just sign, in the Falconer Rod and Gun pond off Harrington Road in Frewsburg. The pond is situated just off Cass Creek, which empties into the Conewango. Yesterday we saw an otter off Quaint Road, near where they fly the model airplanes, which is Cassadaga creek. Last year we found a well established otter toilet on Mud creek. I was duck hunting and a buddy of mine who was trapping the area pointed it out to me. A couple days later right where they would exit the water to use the toilet, there was a 2 foot long Northern Pike laying just in the water, with its middle completely eaten out. NY State has no idea what the otter population is, and they have pretty much lost control of the whole restocking program in my opinion. They are there, and in greater numbers than most would imagine and they are starting to infest the small streams feeding off the bigger rivers. Den

12-17-2006, 05:53 PM
I agree with that. Most any one you ask in the DEC will not tell you anything about projected River Otter numbers, how many incidental catches have been made over the life of the river otter project or when they think they will open up the season on them. --------- It is like some sort of top secret project as far as the figures go or they don't tell anyone in the DEC much either.----------- As I wrote previously, I estimate the populaltion at over 80,000 in western NY. It will be all about increases in incidentals and protests from the fisherman. ----------------rattrapper

12-21-2006, 09:32 PM
According to the State of Minnesota DNR. The main predators of the Muskrat are the Mink and Otter. I have previously posted that the introduction of the river otter is doing major damage to the muskrat populations of NYS. ------------- At least the State of Minnesota is in agreement with me. ----------- The information can be found on their website. ----------- rattrapper

12-23-2006, 03:03 PM
I saw what I believed to be 2 otters in the river by Warren Pa. I did not get a close look so I can't be sure.

12-25-2006, 12:53 AM
I was just talking to a friend who lives on Conawango creek and he sees otters all the time now. They even get into his trash. He says he sees more otters than racoons on the creek.

Grizzly Gary
01-22-2007, 09:29 PM
Rattrapper you may get your wish to trap Otters sooner than you think!

Grizzly Gary

01-22-2007, 09:53 PM
the conawango runs 150 yards behind my house and we see otters all summer long when fishing down back.never seen them until about two years ago .