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First Ever Indiana River Otter Trapping Season Now Open

In Otter News

The Indiana river otter is one of the best success stories in state history. 

Starting back in 1995, river otters were reintroduced to Indiana. Initial otters were placed in a few watersheds in both the northern and southern parts of the state. Just five years after the initial release, the newly established Indiana river otter started to expand their territories.

Fast forward to 2005 and otters were removed from the state’s endangered species list. Just 10 short years later, in 2015, river otters covered 87 percent of all Indiana counties. Not only is this an amazing species recovery story, but it also far exceeded the expectations set forward by the state.

IN Gov

With this in mind, the state now needs Hoosier trappers to lend a hand in keeping otter numbers in check. The new river otter trapping season started on Nov. 15 and will run through March 15, 2016. Indiana has placed a strict quota of 600 otters and will close the season once that number has been met, or the closing date passes, whichever comes first.

There are a lot of rules in place that Indiana trappers need to follow. Be sure to check them out right here so you know if you are compliant. All otters trapped must be reported and pelts have to be federally tagged before they can be sold.

Some non-hunters and anti-trappers out there might think that allowing the Indiana river otter to be trapped is a terrible thing. However, it’s because of those same hunters and trappers that otters are back in the state to begin with.

Way to go, Indiana. Congrats on a real animal success story brought to all Hoosiers by fees collected from hunting and fishing licenses.

This is conservation at work.


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First Ever Indiana River Otter Trapping Season Now Open