Our Lummi Island Community

River Otters

River otters are small mammals that can get up to 30 pounds and about 32 inches long. They are playful animals and the mothers are fun to watch with their young as they teach them their survival skills. They thrive here in our marine environment, which they use for fishing.

They have their young in burrows, or if available under a house. They can make their burrows far from the marine waters, sometimes a mile from shore. If they find a place to have their young under a house, this can be a nuisance, as the smell they create can be overwhelming. The best way to avoid this is to make sure the areas under the house are screened off. If they persist, then ammonia soaked rags will sometimes help to deter them.

They have often been seen sunning themselves in the middle of S. Nugent road in the area of the beach between the Islander and just before the hill. Please try not to hit them.

Not so fun Fact:
FOIL over the last few years had to deal with them deciding the Island Library was a great place to have their pups. It took 2 years and a lot of money to keep them out from under the building. In 2020, they tried again but only under the back deck which was then also blocked off. In 2021 they found another entrance and have again been told politely to find another spot.

North American River Otter, Lontra canadensis

North American River Otter, Lontra canadensis

River otters are members of the weasel family, and are not considered marine mammals.

Updated: 2021/07/09 @ 6:39 pm Tark Henderson

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