Illinois Department of Natural Resources furbearer biologist Bob Bluet told the Springfield (IL) State Journal Register that the state’s first river otter trapping season culled slightly more otters than anticipated because fur prices were up. “More people were trapping and there was more opportunity to catch otters,” he said.
River otters haven’t been trapped in Illinois since 1929. It was believed their numbers were down to just 100 before 1990. A reintroduction program, which ran from 1994 to 1997 was so successful, that the otters became s nuisance in some places, the article says. The recent trapping season harvested 13 percent of the state’s population, not quite enough to reduce the number of otters in the long term, Bluet told the newspaper.
For more details on the river otter’s restoration in Illinois, the nuisance factor and the recent trapping season, read the article in the Springfield State Journal Register.
Photo: River otters by Jim Leopold, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service