How to trap a problem otter in New Jersey | River Otter

How to trap a problem otter

Trapping or shooting river otters in defense of property outside the trapping season should be a last resort. Lethal control can never be justified without a serious effort to first prevent problems from recurring. Removing river otters by any means is a short-term solution since other otters are likely to move in if attractive habitat is still available.

Managing river otter populations is typically done through regulated fall and/or winter trapping seasons. Landowners need only to give permission to licensed fur trappers to remove river otters during the legal trapping season. If otters are causing severe damage, state wildlife agencies may issue special trapping permits to professional wildlife control operators. In some states, fur trappers can assist during closed seasons under certain conditions. Contact your state Fish and Wildlife Department or state Game Warden/Conservation Officer before trapping river otters during the closed seasons.

Trapping a river otter requires training and proper equipment to be done effectively and ethically. There are strict regulations regarding types of legal traps and their placement. An inexperienced person attempting to trap otters can wise them up quickly, making them very difficult to trap. This often results in more expense and time when an experienced trapper is finally brought in to complete the job.

Laws and regulations to be aware of

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

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