River Otter

River otters (Lontra Canadensis) are now found throughout most of Indiana, thanks to efforts of the DNR and its partners. In 1995, the DNR began a reintroduction program aimed at re-establishing a healthy otter population in several watersheds of northern and southern Indiana. After five years of reintroductions, the otter population began to expand through natural reproduction. The otter was removed from the state-endangered species list in 2005. Since that time, otters have been documented in more than 87 percent of Indiana counties, far surpassing reintroduction goals. The population continues to expand.

General Characteristicsriver otters

  • Otters have a long body, short legs and muscular neck.
  • Fur color varies from light brown to almost black.
  • Otters have long, thick whiskers and webbed feet.
  • Weights range from 11 to 20 pounds.
  • Otters can hold their breath for 8 minutes.
  • Their fur repels water.
  • Otters are most active at night and at dawn and dusk.