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Old 07-21-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
nj2nh
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Default Otters?

My kids claimed they just saw an otter along the shore here in Alton Bay at Echo Point. I have to say we've seen lots of wildlife (including deer for the first time ever here), but otters? Could it be they are imagining things?

And, no, alas, they didn't think to snap a photo.,
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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Default Minks"

We do have otters in NH but I've never seen them by the lake, but I have seen many minks scurrying along the shoreline.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:04 PM   #3
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I know they're up around us in the North end.....several people have seen them this year.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:26 PM   #4
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They range really far and wander a lot so I would not be at all surprised to see them in Alton Bay, but I doubt they "live" on that part of the lake, too many houses.

I'm in southern NH and we see them now and then in the pond behind our house, but they don't stay for more than a day or two at a time and can be gone for weeks. Very entertaining to watch and they seem to able to catch fish almost effortlessly. They seem to spend far more time playing than hunting.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
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I see one virtually every morning (that I fish) in Alton Bay. He used to stay well clear of me. Now, he often swims so close to or dives right under my kayak that I can almost reach out and tough him. He swims down the bay, under the bridge and up the merrymeeting daily. Big guy too.

He looks to me like he should be called Jim.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:44 PM   #6
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Meet the playful river otter
River otters are built for speed. They are expert swimmers and divers; they can swim at an average of 7 mph and can stay underwater for up to 2 minutes. Their sleek bodies barely make a ripple when gliding through the water. River otters have a thick body with short legs. But don't think that makes them slow -- they can run up to 15-18 mph and can slide on ice 25 feet! Their hind feet are webbed and all have claws, making them efficient for both swimming and running. Specialized ears and nose have valve-like skin that closes to keep water out. An adult river otter can weigh between 15-30 pounds and be up to 60 inches long. Females are smaller than males, sometimes up to 25% smaller. Otters have a strong sense of smell and hearing; while their vision is not as good, it may be better underwater than above.
When prime, the river otter's fur appears black-brown, with the belly fur slightly lighter; fur under the chin and on the throat is grayish. In New Hampshire, otter may be trapped by licensed trappers. The take during the 2004-2005 season was 304 animals. River otters are primarily nocturnal and active all year long. They feed primarily on fish, but will take insects, frogs and occasionally small mammals. Otters are highly mobile, males more so than females. Their home range varies from less than one square mile to more than 20 square miles. Wrestling and chase play are important socializing activities. River otters breed in March and April, beginning at the age of 2. Young are born in February to April after a period of delayed implantation. Litter sizes can be from 1 to 5, but on average are 2 or 3.
River otters live in the riparian borders of streams and lakes and other wetlands in forested areas. One of the best habitats for river otters in the northeast is beaver-influenced drainages. They prefer waterbodies rich with fish in areas with plenty of denning sites. Den sites can consist of a rocky ledge, a fallen tree or an abandoned beaver lodge. Otters are extremely sensitive to changes in habitat. Pollution and destruction of wetland habitats are detrimental to river otters and other wetland species. -- Julie Robinson, Wildlife Biologist from NHF&G web site

Eric Orff on minks.
If you live near a stream, river or pond, MINK are some of your neighbors. Mink have a dark chestnut-brown colored pelt, only interrupted sometimes by a white chin patch. They are similar in size to the marten. Mink are semi-aquatic in nature, although they can and do range distances from water. Their typical home range is nearly a mile of a river corridor. Their aquatic dwelling shows up in their diet -- which is 31 percent fish, 25 percent frogs and 23 percent crayfish -- although small mammals are often part of their prey base, as well. Mink range widely over North America, except the desert southwest, and are common throughout New Hampshire. Like other weasels, they are rarely seen.
http://www.nhfishandwildlife.com/weasels.php

More about minks.
http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/mink.htm

For size comparison.
http://www.hikingnature.com/mink/nor...american-mink/
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:05 PM   #7
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We live on the south side of Echo Point and have a resident otter that we see quite regularly. He seems to be nesting in a crib dock of one of our neighbors. They are playful and not very bashful. we also do see mink on a regular basis along the shore and swimming and diving for fish.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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Default Puttin' on the Mink

We have had minks residing in our breakwater for years. We usually see them running along the rocky shoreline, but ocassionally they will wander away from the shore. On one ocassion, a mother mallard was swimming in our boatslip between the breakwaters with her large brood. A mink grabbed one of the babies and pulled it underwater and into a crevice in the breakwater. My wife and I tried to rescue it but, alas, to no avail. Raw nature in action!!!
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:36 PM   #9
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There were two otters swimming together in our cove near Smith Point (Sleeper's Island) last Saturday. And I've seen them before.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:15 AM   #10
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Red face Got Mink...?

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Originally Posted by Jonas Pilot View Post
We do have otters in NH but I've never seen them by the lake, but I have seen many minks scurrying along the shoreline.
A week ago, a friend made a YouTube video of a "Mom Mink", and two juveniles scurrying around a pile of lumber.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJCKhL7dqsI
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:18 AM   #11
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Last Summer there were two otters that were seen fairly regularly in Minge Cove.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
We live on the south side of Echo Point and have a resident otter that we see quite regularly. He seems to be nesting in a crib dock of one of our neighbors. They are playful and not very bashful. we also do see mink on a regular basis along the shore and swimming and diving for fish.
Since we are on the north side of Echo Point, we must be seeing the same critter or a member of his family. You must be on the cove side while we are on the side facing Little Mark.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:18 PM   #13
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Default We have otters in Moultonboro, too

Saw a little one just last weekend in the lagoon at Suissevale. Very cute, but they are also predators and robbers of loon eggs in the nest.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:23 AM   #14
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Red face While Quietly Contemplating Dinner...

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Originally Posted by Acres per Second View Post
A week ago, a friend made a YouTube video of a "Mom Mink", and two juveniles scurrying around a pile of lumber.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJCKhL7dqsI
I forgot to mention that the lumber in the video is at my place on the lake.

Yesterday afternoon, while sitting on a long 2x10 piece of that lumber, I felt some "bumps" as a mink silently ran behind me—just an inch away!
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:49 PM   #15
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We've had an otter establish a "latrine" in our boathouse for the past 4-5 years. A little Google sleuthing revealed that this is a standard otter practice. Although we've never seen the sucker, I've missed him/her by seconds a few times.

The end result is a greasy, malodorous trail of fish bone- and scale-laden poop and musky discharge left all over the deck. In the winter, it loves to poop all over the 8x8 beam used to prop up some smaller boats. It sometimes goes long periods without a visit, but it always returns.

Due to its sleuth, we've dubbed it "Ninja Otter."

My daughter did the police sketch below.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:26 AM   #16
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When I seen "otter" I was remined of a book I read back in high school called: Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell. It's a great read, and Maxwell really captures otter life.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:59 AM   #17
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Cool Minked on Cow Island!

Saw a mink this morning running by with his catch. Thought at first he had one of our new chicks, but turned out to be a chipmunk in his mouth.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
We've had an otter establish a "latrine" in our boathouse for the past 4-5 years. A little Google sleuthing revealed that this is a standard otter practice. Although we've never seen the sucker, I've missed him/her by seconds a few times.

The end result is a greasy, malodorous trail of fish bone- and scale-laden poop and musky discharge left all over the deck. In the winter, it loves to poop all over the 8x8 beam used to prop up some smaller boats. It sometimes goes long periods without a visit, but it always returns.

Due to its sleuth, we've dubbed it "Ninja Otter."

My daughter did the police sketch below.
That's a great sketch!!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:22 AM   #19
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When salmon fishing a few years ago on the Mount Washington dock in Alton, a mink grabbed a good sized salmon on my friends stringer. He heard the commotion and pulled up the stringer. The mink wouldn't let go until he swung him against the dock supports a couple times.That was before you had to kill any fish that you kept.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:45 AM   #20
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Default Otters

While gassing up at West Alton Marine, we saw a couple of otters...the employees (nicest group of young people!) said they watch them almost every day. Very cute.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:44 AM   #21
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like many here...i have seen them before, going back many years. cute little dudes!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:08 PM   #22
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Default Mink Family

While working on our dock at East Bear Island, I saw a mink family [3] scampering on our breakwater. The small ones were trying to keep up with their parent. Great sight!!!
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
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That's a great sketch!!!
I'm beginning to believe the legendary "Ninja Otter" is actually a very busy muskrat or two. I've seen them swimming in the area, and hanging under the neighbor's dock. Not sure if they also display this "latrine" behavior, but I know their diet is similar (lots of fish). Plus, I've never seen the otter (hence the ninja status).

So, for any previous rants or expletive-laden tirades in the boathouse (mis)directed at the otter population, I apologize. That being said, I do not want an otter latrine established in there, either.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Saw a mink this morning running by with his catch. Thought at first he had one of our new chicks, but turned out to be a chipmunk in his mouth.
A Wolfeboro friend enjoyed my photos of my variously-trained chipmunks, but added, "Around here, you have people like me who enjoy their antics—then there's my sons, who shoot them off our stone walls."

We had six minks running along our place this spring, and an unusual dearth of chipmunks.

Minks are not particularly wary, and the freshwater mussel shells minks left behind can be sharp to the feet: I'd much rather have chipmunks around. No other wild creature can be trained to come when they're called. This season, I've got two chipmunks that will race to my whistle.

Yesterday, I'd bought some new sunflower seeds, and whistled into the "empty woods" to the east. It was very entertaining to watch one of my trained chipmunks racing non-stop off stumps, bouncing off mossy clumps, and off boulders—to arrive at the top of my stairs. This was not one of my favorite chipmunks, as "she" (I think) isn't very bold.

"She" may be able to count, however, as I formerly held three seeds between thumb and forefinger, but after wrestling with positioning those three seeds, then switched to two. It didn't matter, this chipmunk took two, then—each time—nipped a finger for the third.

I'm back to holding three, now—who's training whom?
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:52 AM   #25
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Yup, we got 'em by the truck-load out here on Long Island. Like to come up on our beach. Very interesting squeal kind of noise. Weasel-shaped and smaller faces than the beavers. They aren't phased by the dog, who likes to be nose-to-nose with them. I would rather not, however.... They aren't destructive or anything. Just sound like fingernails down a chalk-board.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:59 AM   #26
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We definitely have them in South Wolfeboro Bay. They use our boathouse as a public convenience...
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:09 PM   #27
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Default Question

Are mink relatively new to the lakes region area, say in the last 50 years?
The reason I ask is that I lived at the lake (south shore for over twenty years until 1963). During that time no one that I knew had ever seen a mink. So I was wondering if they are an invasive species.
I have seen a number of posts recently on Facebook about mink on the islands and shores of lake Wiini.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:14 PM   #28
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Default Trapped out

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Originally Posted by Dickie B from HB View Post
Are mink relatively new to the lakes region area, say in the last 50 years?
The reason I ask is that I lived at the lake (south shore for over twenty years until 1963). During that time no one that I knew had ever seen a mink. So I was wondering if they are an invasive species.
I have seen a number of posts recently on Facebook about mink on the islands and shores of lake Wiini.
Pretty sure mink are native. 50 yrs ago there was a lot of wildlife, all over the country, that were at a low ebb. Hunting/trapping, land clearing, pollution, etc. Would think over trapping would be a likely reason you didnt see them back in the day.
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