PDA

View Full Version : Otters



Ralph Cordell
04-06-2005, 08:02 AM
I fish Lake Oconee in GA and have seen a number of otters around my favorite holes. I know otters eat fish. I'm trying to figure out if that is good sign (seeing an otter means that fish are there) or a bad one (the otters chase the fish away). Anyone care to comment? BTW - I can tell the difference between an otter, a muskrat and a beaver in the water. Have seen a lot of the last two - this was definitely an otter.

GABoy
04-06-2005, 08:06 AM
I fish Lake Oconee in GA and have seen a number of otters around my favorite holes. I know otters eat fish. I'm trying to figure out if that is good sign (seeing an otter means that fish are there) or a bad one (the otters chase the fish away). Anyone care to comment? BTW - I can tell the difference between an otter, a muskrat and a beaver in the water. Have seen a lot of the last two - this was definitely an otter.

I am interested in knowing this as well, I saw an otter while I was dock shooting up at Sinclair about a week ago.

crappster
04-06-2005, 08:20 AM
I had a pair of otters swimming around the dock I was fishing last week. It was at night. I caught crappie on almost every cast and they didn't seem bothered by the otters. Also saw one of the otters come up with about a 12 inch largemouth. That is impressive!

GABoy
04-06-2005, 08:23 AM
I had a pair of otters swimming around the dock I was fishing last week. It was at night. I caught crappie on almost every cast and they didn't seem bothered by the otters. Also saw one of the otters come up with about a 12 inch largemouth. That is impressive!

Darn...so they are pretty good fisher-animals....

SweetHomeAlabama
04-06-2005, 08:55 AM
I had a pair of otters swimming around the dock I was fishing last week. It was at night. I caught crappie on almost every cast and they didn't seem bothered by the otters. Also saw one of the otters come up with about a 12 inch largemouth. That is impressive!


Now, if we could just teach them to catch 17" crappie and bring them to the dock. :)

GABoy
04-06-2005, 09:12 AM
Now, if we could just teach them to catch 17" crappie and bring them to the dock. :)

now that would be some trick.....

LBM
04-06-2005, 09:44 AM
Don't know whether the otters help or hurt the fishing but just consider watching them as part of my enjoyment in being outdoors.
One day while fishing a treeline I caught a short crappie and there happened to be a blue herron sitting on one of the trees near by and I tossed the short to the herron and it was able to swoop down and get the crappie in the water. As I worked further down the treeline the bird would follow me perched in the trees. I caught another short but I tossed it too close to the boat and the herron didn't get this fish. The herron stayed with me for around 45 minutes of fishing and finally flew away after I was unable to catch anymore fish. Don't know how long this cranky sounding bird would have stayed with me if I had been able to catch and toss another to it.

crappster
04-06-2005, 09:50 AM
Oh they will stay next to you as long as you feed em. I do alot of surf fishing down on the Florida east coast, and I'm almost always gauranteed to have a blue heron or squad of pelicans stop by to see what I got. I love to feed them some of the trash fish. Hardhead cats....I cut their heads off and side fins, and feed the body to the herons....they love it. I bleed bluefish when I catch them, and the birds love the guts. They are always good company. The pelicans will take food right out of your hand. Sometimes trying to take my hand with it. Feels like being raked with sandpaper. The pelicans that is. The heron would probably impale my arm.

Crapbie
04-06-2005, 10:03 AM
Sounds like we need to go fishing together sometime crappster, sounds like me and my wife. We save all our dead minnows for bird feeding at the ramp. We also catch polly wogs if they are around. We feed ducks and squirels and stuff at our local parks everyday. I just buy 4 loaves of bread from the discount bread store and off we go feeding.

On the word of otters I saw one last time I took my boat out. It just did A flip splash breathe at the top of the water to go back fishing. I'm amased the gators don't get them down here but I guess they are to fast for them. I sure love otters, not much cooler then them.


Here's alittle salt water otter trivia for you, did you know they have over 1 million hairs per inch of skin. This way they are super boyant and insulated, and if they let it get mattted it looses 90% of its insulating properties so they have to keep cleaning it. I saw it on a tv show yesterday or the day before.

Moose1am
04-06-2005, 12:07 PM
This is a good thread. Wish I had some otters around here in Southern IN. They are very playful creaters and fun to watch. We have a few beavers and you can observe them at dusk swimming around their lodge. The bay that they chose to build their lodge just happens to be the best fishing bay on that lake.

Last night I was getting the boat out and checking everthing and starting to get ready to go home when I saw the State DRN truck coming into the parking lot with a boat behind it. I figured it was my old friend Alan that worked there last year doing the creel surveys for Dan Carnahan the Fisheries Biologist for the part of the state. District 7. Low and behold it was not Alen but Dan himself with two coworkers from the DNR office at Sugar Ridge HQ. They had the electro shocking boat with them. Well they are starting to set up the boat so I just had to watch. I was so full of questions but they were all work. They started putting the wiring hookups together and got that done. Then they put the long poles on the front of the old john boat and started to hook them up. They each had a 4ft diameter circle of round iron welded to the end of a 10ft long pole. From the circles hung wires ever 2 ft and I think that there were like 6 to 9 of these wires hanging down with metal electrodes attached to the end of the wires. They used Four tall 12volt DC food lamps in riser stand to flood the area in front of their boat with lights. They also used a 3 Million candle power seach light and they had a good gasoline electric generator to run the shocking equipment. They had a lot of iron on the front of the boat that made a place to hold onto. Call it a iron railing around the front of the boat. On the front deck of the boat they had a rubber mat that helped to keep the deck from becoming slipper and to cusion thier feet for the long night of standing on the front of the boat deck with a dip net catching and retrieving stunned fish. I watched them go out into the lake and secretely wished that I had not pulled my boat out and that I would have followed them to see the search for fish. They said they would be out there until midnight and it was about 8:30 PM when they departed the boat ramp into the darkness. I watched them go to the first point near a bay that I like to fish and with all the lights on their boat it was hard not to see them. I have my Nikon 8 x 40 binoculars so I watched them work that first point until they went out of sight.

I was hungry to I drove the truck with the boat attached to town down I -164 and hit White Castle up for a few jalapeno Cheeseburgers and some onion rings. I had my coffee with me already and had a cooler full of diet cokes. So I was in business. I stopped at the gas station and filled up and cleaned the bugs off the windshield. Then I drove the boat back home and put it away and went back to the F&W area and watched them work from the top of Little Ditney Hill. This hill is right adjacent to the old mine area and it's about 200ft higher than the floodplains below where the pits are located. I could see thier lights when they worked in the two northern bays off the first bay. Man I need to have them start naming all the different bays and fingers on Blue Grass Pit so we can discuss that lake better. LOL Anyway I watched them and then went back home for more coffee. I was very anxious to see the preliminary results. So I drove back to the pit at quarter till midnight and they were heading back to the boat ramp.

Earlier that day I had backed my truck in too far into the water at the boat ramp and got stuck. The moss was growing and the concrete does not have grooves in it to give any trackion so I had my tire spinning and was stuck with my boat launched and on a 75 ft rope attached to the trailer and the boat was drifting downwind and heading into the bank. I was in the truck cab and had water almost coming into the truck. I put the truck in gear and pull the parking brake on and took off my shoes and shocks, upzipped the legs on my running pants and pulled the legs up over my knees and got out into the very cold water holding my shoes in my hands. I was not a happy camper at this point in time and was saying a few X*#$&*#+S. There was a guy fishing (Herman) and he watched as I walked out of the lake and set my stuff down at the handicaped platform next to the concrete boat ramp. He finally offered to help pull my truck and trailer out of the lake. He backed up and then I tired a long rope between us and with his help I got back in my truck and pulled the truck and trailer out of the water. I just needed a little more pull to get out but could not have done that without Herman. Thanks again Herman.

When the DNR guys were launching I had told them the story about getting stuck in the water and warned them about how slippery the boat ramp concrete was due to the moss. Dan didn't think it was a problem I guess at first but as he was going into the water to help recover the boat he looked back towards me and said " This is pretty slippery". He was wearing rubber knee boots and I bet that they were not getting much traction on that moss covered concrete ramp. He managed to make it to the boat trailer and helped his buddy get the boat back on the trailer.

He said that they had a good night. They caught and released all the fish except for three crappie that they took home to do an age test on. They will dissect these fish and cut out the little round bone like structure in the fish's ear and then count the number of growth rings no the structure. It's like counting the growth rings on a tree to determine it's age. They may look at the scale also to get an age reading on them too. They said that they caught a lot of fish that night and that the bass population in the lake was improving. That is a good thing and I am sure that guys like HoosierDon will welcome that good news for bass fishermen. They caught some crappie and lots of catfish. Channel cats to be specific. They hopefully will have the full report on the web in the long term future. It takes a while for the report to make it's way up the chain of command at IN DNR and then to the web master for publication. It has to be approved by the DNR fisheries Managerment team and then it's published on the web. It's neat to compare the reports over the years to see how these small bodies of water are doing ecologically speaking.

So there are plenty of fish for the Blue Herons and other shore birds to feed on. And last fall I saw two deer that swam across the lake in the widest section which is visible from the road. Boonville-Newharmony Road.

Well I had a horrible day fishing yesterday. Not only did I get my truck stuck in the water at the boat ramp for 20 min to start the day off but I ended up cutting the transducer wire on my new front mounted trolling motor transducer by making a small adjustment in the depth that my trolling motor goes down into the water. I must have stretched the cord as it was tied to the trolling motor shaft is about 6 places. So I figure that will cost me another 60 bucks plust shipping and handling and I just hope that they still sell those type for my Humminbird LCR 8000 unit. If not them I am thinking about getting a new Humminbird Depth Finder. Matrix 47D looks good.

And then while driving home last night around midnight I saw a young deer crossing the Zoar Church Road just North of Kansas road. I was south bound and she just was walking slowly across the road.

I love this new Fish and Wildlife Area. All it needs now is some otters. LOL













Sounds like we need to go fishing together sometime crappster, sounds like me and my wife. We save all our dead minnows for bird feeding at the ramp. We also catch polly wogs if they are around. We feed ducks and squirels and stuff at our local parks everyday. I just buy 4 loaves of bread from the discount bread store and off we go feeding.

On the word of otters I saw one last time I took my boat out. It just did A flip splash breathe at the top of the water to go back fishing. I'm amased the gators don't get them down here but I guess they are to fast for them. I sure love otters, not much cooler then them.


Here's alittle salt water otter trivia for you, did you know they have over 1 million hairs per inch of skin. This way they are super boyant and insulated, and if they let it get mattted it looses 90% of its insulating properties so they have to keep cleaning it. I saw it on a tv show yesterday or the day before.

JEFFRO
04-06-2005, 02:16 PM
We catch many fish while keeping alligators at bay I don't think the otters will spoke the fish or at least not for long .

Roberta
04-08-2005, 08:01 AM
Otters and beaver had been pretty much exterpated from Ohio thirty years ago, but now the beavers are everywhere and the otters are also recovering well - thanks to improved water quality and little trapping pressure (I think they're protected now). You probably need to get onto a remote area of a river to see them.

We've had herons follow us around Rush Run and when I was a kid on vacation in Forida, we used to throw the remains from the fish cleaning table to the waiting pelicans and cormorants. Not much goes to waste if a bird is around. Now, though, I try to avoid direct feeding of wild animals since it breaks down the natural wariness of the animals, making them more vulnerable to humans who are inclined to kill or injure animals (I'm not talking about legitimate hunting). - Roberta

crappster
04-08-2005, 08:34 AM
I hear you Roberta on the feeding of animals. I don't feed animals that could be in danger of being harmed by humans or could harm humans (alligators). But I don't see a problem with seagulls, pelicans, or herons. They are all pretty abundant, and tend to scavenge anyhow. But point taken, and adhered to. :)

Kokanee King
04-08-2005, 04:25 PM
i say a couple otters try to eat a duck once, some of the wores sounds that I have ever heard

BarryG
04-08-2005, 05:02 PM
If you have a small pond on your property and the otters come in they Will clean the fish out! They recently reintroduced them in MO and they have discovered that the otters are making big families real fast and are doing serious damage the the fish populations in some areas. They are very pretty animals, but you don't really want them around your fishing holes.

lebruce
04-08-2005, 07:21 PM
If you have a small pond on your property and the otters come in they Will clean the fish out! They recently reintroduced them in MO and they have discovered that the otters are making big families real fast and are doing serious damage the the fish populations in some areas. They are very pretty animals, but you don't really want them around your fishing holes.
Barry, They're cleaning little river systems out of fish up here too.I've watch them in the winter one day below a dam for awhile.The pair would dive down and come back up and get on the ice and eat part of their catch ( nice size walleye's and cat's ),then dive and get another. I myself would rather not have them here in Iowa,are river systems just not large enough for them.