• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

River Otter

A river otter lying on a rock and eating a fish in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

A river otter feasts on a fish near the northern coast of the peninsula.

Ken and Mary Campbell

River Otter - Lutra canadensis

Identification:
River otters are common along the Pacific coastal section of the park, where they are often mistaken for sea otters. Much smaller than sea otters, the weigh about 30 pounds. They have small ears, plenty of whiskers, and are generally brown with silvery bellies. Their webbed feet allow them to be the excellent swimmers that they are.

Habitat:
River otters are often found on lakeshores, riverbanks, and the outer coast of the peninsula. They are commonly seen in intertidal areas close to shore where they forage for food. River otters spend much less time in the water than sea otters do.

Diet:
River otters feed mainly on crayfish, fish, and small rodents.

Back to Terrestrial Mammal Species List
Back to Marine Mammal Species List

Did You Know?