DNR May Allow River Otter Trapping

Posted On August 21, 2014

By Mike Perleberg


(Ripley County, Ind.) – River otters may soon be added to the list of animals that can be trapped in Indiana.

River otters had been considered extinct in Indiana in 1942, but they were reintroduced about 20 years ago in locations across the state, including the Jefferson Proving Grounds in Ripley County. They were removed from the state’s endangered species list in 2005 and now exist in 74 of Indiana’s 92 counties, an Indiana Department of Natural Resources spokesman told the Tribune of Seymour.

The DNR says it is considering allowing a trapping season for river otters. If approved, the first otter trapping season would occur in 2015 in counties where the mammal’s population has met a certain threshold. Trappers would be capped at harvesting up to two otters each season.

The proposal also includes allowing the sale of river otter furs in Indiana.

Currently, river otters can only be hunted in Indiana with a nuisance wild animal control permit. Twenty-one such permits were issued in 2013, up from 11 the year before.

Today, river otters are considered abundant in Ripley County as well as many other counties in southern Indiana. There are listed at uncommon in Switzerland and Ohio counties, and rare in Dearborn and Franklin counties.