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Thread: Dead Otters

  1. #1

    Default Dead Otters

    Hi.
    Yesterday I saw two dead otters in the sound. One in the middle of Culross Passage, near long bay and the other in Shoestring Cove in southeastern Ester Passage. I thought it a little odd. The Otter in Shoestring looked a little older, either way, sad to see. I'm not suggesting any correlations or trends here but was wondering if anyone else has noticed, or somewhat regularly notices, otter deaths in the Sound because that was a first for me (and two in the same day).
    Last edited by Bayrunner; 08-15-2012 at 12:49. Reason: incorrect info

  2. #2
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    If you get a chance you should report those to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. The website below has the numbers to call. It's important information for marine mammal researchers and managers and is used to better understand factors that may effect marine mammal populations. For example the Marine Mammal Stranding Network played an important role in documenting a disease outbreak in sea otters in Kachemack Bay several years ago.

    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/protectedre...strandings.htm

  3. #3

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    See any killer whales in the area? Not saying it's the only possibility, but here where we are they come through a couple of times a summer and raise cob with the otters. Doesn't always happen, but several times over the years we've found dead ones washed up on shore within a day of the "feast." Dunno if the whales overlooked them in the frenzy, or they swam off injured and later died.

  4. #4
    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    We saw one last week near Bush Point off of West Perry Island. Possible causes are "natural death", fish net entanglement and drowning, predation, and human hunters (yes, natives do legally hunt them in PWS on occasion).

    Sad to see...

  5. #5

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    did see 8 killer whales working the area on sunday

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by TM2SNOW View Post
    did see 8 killer whales working the area on sunday
    Around here they do their best to teach sea otters to climb trees.

  7. #7

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    Patrick. Thank you so much for that, I don't know why I didn't think of that. I wonder if Prince William Sound Science Center, AK Sealife Center or ADF&G track this as well. Anyway, I'll make the report and I'm sure they publish their data in a way that anyone that needs to can access it. As for the Whales, I did see a bunch of whale activity around Jellie Juan and also further south in the sound. Pretty awesome. Had the motor off for a second trying to grab a cell connection (sucessful BTW- just east of Appelgate) and heard a sound that made me think someones engine had a serious hickup! Just a whale fluking.......later in the day saw a huge blast of water explode into the sky......just a whale breaching. So cool. Anyway, didn't see any Killer Whales, but I was transiting through. Wonder if the otter in shoestring was the same one that was off the west coast of Perry....certainly possible.

  8. #8

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    Report made. thanks

  9. #9
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I don't think PWS Science Center has much to do with the data but I do know that the Alaska Sealife Center collects alot of data for the Stranding Network and some really good folks at the Fish and Wildlife office have done some great things with the data including the work in Kachemack Bay I mentioned earlier. It's a great resource and one place where the public can really help out the biologists. I'd encourage all boaters to report what they find or see with regards to dead or stranded marine mammals. If it's a beached animal get a location and often times they'll try and retrieve it for a necropsy. Anyway, its a great resource.

    On the Orca front, the general thought is that they hammer the otters out in the Aleutians which may be why they haven't recovered. In PWS it doesn't seem the Orcas hit them that hard but I'd have to bet the local boaters and commericial/sport fishermen might be the first to notice.

  10. #10
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    There is also the possibility that someone hit the otter with a boat. I had one pop up right in front of my boat out of Homer last trip out. I was doing 25 mph and boink there is an otter 20 ft off my bow. I laid the boat over and I am sure I missed it as it popped up about a minute later swimming away from me, but I could see how someone could bonk one good.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  11. #11
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I am a USFWS marine mammal tagger in Juneau (for hunting). I also hunt sea otters. It most likely wasn't a dead otter from a hunter because sea otters float when shot and are almost never shot and lost (unlike harbor seals). Good you reported the otter to NOAA's marine mammal stranding network.

    Sobie2

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