Herrington Lake Otters? We had 4 furry visitors the earlier today while working on a new section of the dock! These Otters stopped by to check out the progress we’re making. They then spent quite a bit of time hanging out on and around the dock.
Otters on Herrington Lake?
In Central Kentucky, Otters aren’t an everyday occurrence, but at Herrington Lake, we are seeing them with some more frequency. The River Otters in Kentucky were almost wiped out in the early 1900’s by the fur trade, but by 2006 had rebounded significantly. In fact, the efforts to bring them back have been so successful, Kentucky now has a Otter trapping season.
The North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semi-aquatic mammal found throughout North America. Common River Otters can weigh up to 30 pounds, which makes them easy to spot when playing. River Otters live in burrows and most frequently dig these close to the waters edge.
River Otters are not picky eaters, and as such you can find them eating birds, small mammals, turtles, and eggs when they aren’t snacking on their normal diet of bluegill and catfish. Fresh water Crayfish are also a favorite when they can find them.
River Otters are very social.
“The North American river otter is more social than most mustelids. In all habitats, their basic social group is the family, consisting of an adult female and her progeny. Adult males also commonly establish enduring social groupings. Some documented to comprise as many as 17 individuals. In coastal areas, males may remain gregarious even during the estrous period of females.
You will find that family groups may include helpers, which can be made up of unrelated adults, yearlings, or juveniles. Male North American river otters disperse from such family groups more often than females. When females leave, they tend to move much further away (60–90 km or 37–56 mi) than males (up to 30 km or 19 mi), which tend to move shorter distances. Male North American river otters do not seem to be territorial, and newly dispersing males may join established male groups. You can, On occasion, observe groups of unrelated juveniles. North American river otters living in groups hunt and travel together. They often use the same dens, resting sites, and latrines, and perform allogrooming.
In freshwater systems, groups occur most often in autumn and during early winter. From mid-winter through the breeding season, adult females move and den alone. River otters are not territorial. Individual North American river otters of different groups portray mutual avoidance. Home ranges of males are larger than those of females, and both sexes exhibit intra- and intersexual overlap of their domains”
Where to find River Otters on Lake Herrington?
While we are still trying to determine how many Otters live around the lake, we are confident they live towards the south end of the lake. Most sightings occur between Mid Lake Marina and the mouth of the Dix River. If you spot Otters around the lake, please let us know their location.
Please Respect our Wildlife
The biggest threat to the Herrington Lake Otter population is boat propellers, entanglement in fishing line, and coyotes. Please practice responsible boating and fishing, so we can help mitigate accidental losses.
It should go without saying, but please do not feed the wildlife. If you do, it can cause the animals to put themselves in harms way. We discourage human and wildlife interaction.
Thank you for visiting our Otters page, we hope you were able to learn about these unique creatures. Please send us any pictures of lake Otters that you see while visiting Herrington Lake and we will post them here.