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#7393 - 03/11/08 06:36 AM Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2438
Loc: WV
Otter are fairly new to me and this area, they were re-stocked here a few years ago, and are protected. Yesterday I found an otter toilet, tell me if I'm wrong, but this is the way it looked to me: it looked like the otter took a crap, then regurgitated on top of it. Does that make sense? That point was under-water the day before, so it was fresh. I've read where otter eat mainly "rough" fish, I examined the pile of scales/bones/fins. I did find one little chunk of a crayfish, and a partial fin, by it's color, I'd guess a sunfish/bluegill? In a stream with a variety of bass, panfish, suckers, etc, what is there a favorite diet? Or, do they just eat the first thing they catch? smile

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#7394 - 03/11/08 08:23 AM Re: Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
Hal Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10077
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
"then regurgitated on top of it"

That's a common misconception, and one I believed myself for some time. But that's not vomit. Otter suffer from chronic diarrhea. As far as having a "favorite" fish, I don't know. I've seen the remains of all kind of fish otter have been working on.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#7395 - 03/11/08 10:19 AM Re: Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
phutch36 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 136
Loc: MT
Favorite fish would depend on your location and fish species present.In general they prefer rough fish such as suckers, in many areas they really seem to like the bullheads. Around here they really love the sculpin. Like anything that depends on catching food to survive they are opportunists. They prefer to catch whats easiest but they are not going to pass up a trout or bass if opportunity nocks.

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#7396 - 03/11/08 01:13 PM Re: Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
RiverOtter Offline
Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 646
Loc: Monashee Mtns, British Columbi...
Fresh water clams are a fairly popular food source for the otter I trap. Not sure what there favorite food would be, other than what happened to be the closest when they got hungry.

RO smile

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#7397 - 03/11/08 10:26 PM Re: Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
jackson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 278
Loc: missouri
I'd have to say crawfish in the warmer months and fish in winter. But they prefer big 'ol slab crappie off the dock, but feed heavily on rough fish too. I've found where they'll eat turtle at times. The break-down here in Missouri is as follows:
Crayfish 61%
Fish 51%
Frogs 17%
Muskrats 3%
Ducks 1%...This study from analysis of contents of 443 otter stomachs harvested 97-99 trapping seasons.

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#7398 - 03/12/08 12:08 AM Re: Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
Butcher Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 34
Loc: NY
Baby beavers are a favorite to otters.

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#7399 - 03/12/08 06:32 AM Re: Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2438
Loc: WV
Ok, that makes perfect sense, for it's apperance. The bottom part of the pile looked like a turd, and the top part was just splattered. I guess they do have a fast metabolism?

The stream where I'm trapping has very few catfish, some of the bigger holes have a few carp, but we have white suckers by the 100's. A white sucker can weigh over 4#, and their scales would be at least 1/4" in diameter. The turd I looked at was full of small fish scales. I'm not sure, but I've had several people (fishermen) tell me that rockbass are really rare today, they used to be everywhere. smile

(Jackson, i don't understand your chart, too many %) smile

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#7400 - 03/12/08 07:38 AM Re: Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
Ric Offline


Registered: 07/22/00
Posts: 3688
Loc: Wellington,OH=USA
I doubt if any of the samples consisted of one type of food.So read that as...Out of the sample group of X animals 61% had crawfish in them,51% had fish in them etc. etc.

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#7401 - 03/12/08 10:08 AM Re: Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
jackson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 278
Loc: missouri
After further review: The full paragraph stated,"Analysis of 443 otter stomachs during the 97-99 trapping seasons revealed the following frequencies of occurence of food. In 4% of the otters studied, the stomachs were empty." Percentages given above are correct.

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#7402 - 03/21/08 09:15 PM Re: Question: An Otter's Favorite Diet
northern trapper Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/00
Posts: 274
Loc: Wood Buffalo, Alberta, Canada
In my area the otter is one of the major predators of beaver..year around but especially in early summer. Very few adults taken do not have old scars from fighting beavers.

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