River otters are thriving a little too well in Indiana nearly 20 years after their successful reintroduction into the state. Last year biologists with the division of fish and wildlife received 86 complaints of river otters eating fish from private ponds and commercial hatcheries or destroying private property. That’s up from 69 complaints in 2012. Also the number of control permits issued or renewed nearly doubled from 11 in 2012 to 21 in 2013.
That’s prompted the DNR to consider the establishment of a river otter trapping season. A public hearing is scheduled Thursday, Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m. EST at the Plainfield Public Library in Plainfield to discuss proposed rule changes. They include strict limits on the number of otters that can be harvested and a mandatory registration of harvested otters. The sale of river otters, hides and pelts would also be allowed. A temporary rule would specify annually the counties where river otter trapping would be allowed. Read the proposed rule changes at www.in.gov/nrc/2377.htm. Public comments can also be submitted to the NRC through that website.