Sunday, February 21, 2010

Otter Observations

I've lived here on the family farm all my life. When I was young boy, there were no deer, coyotes, beaver, or wild turkeys. Now, another species has been living here on the farm; otters. This season's long term snow cover has revealed otter foot prints along the Salt Fork River.
Jim Smith

<--Otter tracks

Entrance to the den -->

<--Otter slide where one has slid into the water.

Otters enjoy eating the fish in the river, but they don't much like the heads. You can see the sucker head left at the top of the slide.


  1. The images of these otter tracks and den were all taken in Vermilion County in February 2010 in the Salt Fork River floodplain. In talking with landowners along the Salt Fork during the past two years, otters have either been seen swimming in the river or recognized by their tracks, fish kills, or dens in both Champaign and Vermilion counties. They have extremely large territories so they do not remain in an area for long, but it has been exciting to discover that this mammal appears to be taking up residence in the Salt Fork River watershed.

  2. I made similar observations in February on the Salt Fork between St. Joe and Sidney. This winter's snow cover provided wonderful opportunities for observations of mammal and avian activities through tracking.