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Print

First otter trapping season since 1929 opens soon

October 28, 2012 at 07:23 PM

Peoria Journal Star

For the first time since 1929, Illinois trappers soon will be able to legally trap river otters.

Once-rare river otters have become a common sight from Texas to the East Coast.  In Illinois, the number has exploded from an estimated 100 to 11,000 animals since they were reintroduced to the state in the mid-1990s.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has said there could be as many as 30,000 of them here by 2014—so many the critters can become downright pesky by cleaning out fishing ponds.

After several years of work with IDNR and the Illinois Trappers Association, State Sen. John Sullivan, D.-Rushville, sponsored a bill last year so trappers could help keep otter numbers in check much the way hunters trim the booming deer population.

As a result, the first trapping season begins Monday, Nov. 5, north of Interstate 72, and on Saturday, Nov. 10, in the rest of the state.

A licensed trapper can harvest up to five pelts per season by purchasing a $5 IDNR registration permit for each pelt. According to trappingtoday.com, otter pelts sold for about $70 apiece last summer.

For more information, check http://dnr.state.il.us/orc/wildlife/

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