As west coast fall-run Chinook salmon migration is winding down, this river otter (Lontra canadensis) keeps one of our underwater fish monitoring cameras busy by repeatedly tripping the infrared detection system. Each time he enters our field of view, the camera automatically snaps five pictures and several seconds of video, such that we are very familiar with his migration routine.
The North American River Otter is a semi-aquatic mammal that establishes a burrow close to the edge of a water body. They prey on fish, amphibians, turtles, and crayfish. Although their populations have declined throughout portions of their historic range, populations have rebounded in the northern US and Canada.
Photo source: FISHBIO