Indiana successfully restored otters, and now restores otter trapping

Indiana’s first river otter trapping season since the furry species was reintroduced to the state in the 1990s following a long absence has seen trappers take two-thirds of the statewide limit less than halfway into the season.

State officials authorized the trapping season — Indiana’s first for otters in more than nine decades — in early 2015. They set a statewide quota of 600 of the animals for the season that opened Nov. 15 and ends March 15.

The DNR released about 300 otters taken from Louisiana into Indiana between 1995 and 1999. The otters flourished and are now found in more than 80 percent of the state’s 92 counties. They were removed from Indiana’s endangered species list in 2005.

River otter trapping was last allowed in Indiana in 1921, when the species received state protection after being decimated by habitat loss and unregulated, year-round trapping.

Photo by Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources

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