Commission approves limited river otter trapping

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) Due to a dwindling population caused by loss of habitat and unregulated trapping, the taking of river otters in Indiana was banned in 1921. Experts believe the animal was completely gone from the state by the 1940’s. However, thanks to the reintroduction of the animals to state waterways in 1995, the river otter is now plentiful enough to allow for limited trapping.

On Tuesday the Indiana Natural Resources Commission approved Department of Natural Resources recommendations that are set to go into effect this fall. River otter trapping will be allowed in 66 counties. Trapping will not be allowed in the 26 central Indiana counties where the otters were not reintroduced.

A licensed trapper would be able to take no more than two otters per season with a statewide quota of 600 otters. The trapping season will be Nov. 15 to March 15, unless the statewide quota is reached sooner.

The rules also allow for the sale of hides from legally taken river otters and squirrels.

The rules still need approval from the Attorney General’s Office and Governor’s office before taking effect. Details will be included in the 2015-16 Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide that will be available in August.

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