River Otter Overview
Improvements in water quality, hunting/trapping regulation and reintroduction efforts in the 1980s have allowed their populations to recover and grow. In fact, there have been numerous recent sightings within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and in lakes nearby.
Background on Otters
Otters spend most of their time playing and hunting. These aquatic mammals are well adapted to living in the water with their streamlined bodies, webbed feet and dense, shiny fur. While otters can be observed at any time of the day, they are most active at night and are often shy and elusive. One of the best ways to look for otters is to look for their footprints or scat. In the winter, you can often find their sliding tracks and footprints in the snow.
Did You Know?
At Lake Itasca, the elevation of the Mississippi River is 1,475 feet above sea level. It drops to sea level at the Gulf of Mexico. More than half of that drop occurs within the state of Minnesota.