DWR: Please Report Otter Sightings
By Kristin Forbis, Jul 19, 2021
Citizens of the Uintah Basin that enjoy the treat of seeing a river otter are asked to report the experience to biologists with the Department of Wildlife Resources. The DWR shares that in 1899, the Utah State Fish and Game Commission classified the otter as a rare species, and the state legislature protected them from harvest that same year. Since then, there has been no legal harvest of river otters in the state of Utah. In 1989, the DWR began efforts to bolster the state’s river otter populations, and 67 otters were relocated primarily from Alaska and released along the Green River in eastern Utah from 1989 to 1992. Since then, river otters have spread throughout eastern Utah in the Green and Colorado River systems. During the 2000s, river otters were also released and reintroduced into the Strawberry, Escalante and Provo rivers. “River otters are important because they are an indicator of how healthy the aquatic environment is around Utah,” DWR Non-game Mammals Coordinator Kim Hersey said. To report a sighting of a river otter, email a photo or video of either the animal or signs of the animal, including tracks or feces, as well as a specific location to email@example.com.