Okanagan otters more common than you think - InfoNews

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Okanagan otters more common than you think

A river otter photographed at Nashwito Creek several years ago.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ruby Alexis
March 02, 2017 - 1:00 PM

OKANAGAN – Whether you knew it or not, otters are everywhere in the Okanagan.

“They’re here,” Okanagan Indian Band member Keith Louis says. “Whenever I do my yearly creek walk for Kokanee I see evidence of their handiwork on the banks.”

Louis says the majority are river otters who move around in search of their favourite prey – fish.

“I’ve seen them out on the Bessette System by Lumby on Shuswap system, around Nashwito Creek in the North Arm of the Okanagan.”

Louis says five years ago another staff member took pics of a group of river otters playing on a raft and eating fish.

“If they’re playing or eating and they feel they’re safe they’re quite bold.”

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations says river otters, a member of the weasel family of mustelid’s, are found at salt and fresh water shorelines across B.C. They have been spotted near Ellison Park in the North Okanagan, Headwaters Lakes above Peachland, and around Kelowna and Penticton waterways.

B.C. Conservation spokesperson David Kairn says otter numbers are healthy in the Okanagan and due to their ability to adapt to various environments, should remain that way for the foreseeable future.

“You never know where an otter goes,” Louis says.

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