Snohomish tidal otters

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by wadin' boot, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Posts: 2,016
    Wallingford, WA
    Ratings: +1,559 / 0
    I haven't fished in about a month or so it seems. So after a eating with a friend at Randy's, Boeing Field, made my way up to the tidal Snohomish for the ebb. Seals were in force. River otters, three of them, played about the berms and decaying wharves close to the rail terminal. Bald eagles, two of them. Fish? none for me. Oh well, a good day paddling around, cursing the wind, listening to the Seahawks, thinking how the color of the river's changed since the 8o days without rain and whether it is wise to fish through a couple of on and off seasons just to learn the ins and outs of a system. Those thoughts and then some of river otters- the how and why- see the only other place I've seen them on Puget Sound is the tidal Duwamish, about 1/4 mile from Randy's.

    Every time I have come across otters, their read of the water's potential is brilliant, and the fishing sucks...Any otter stories from the Saltwater Hive/Brain?
  2. rotato Active Member

    Posts: 600
    Ratings: +66 / 0
    They poop in my skiff
  3. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,800
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +655 / 0
    Have seen river otters onthe shore lines of many of the San Juan Islands as well as anumber of mainlland beaches along the edge of Puget Sound.

    I agree that otters are great fishers and without a doubt the fish recognize that ability. Remember a late summer lunch along a NF Stillaguamish pool that held a number of summer steelhead and Chinook. A family of otters came up river and as they entered that fishing holding the pool both the steelhead and Chinook went nuts. With fish dashing both upstream and downstream of that pool and into various hidey holes.

  4. Walt K Searcher

    Posts: 88
    Poulsbo, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Full of otters on our beach on Hood Canal. They are superb fishers. And seem to have a wicked digestive system ...
  5. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 868
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +335 / 0
    I spotted an otter on the beach at Meadowdale Beach Park in 2011. I wondered how many cutts it ate out of Lund's Creek. They are voracious, but I suppose they need the fish more than I do.

    While in Yellowstone I watched a family of river otters attack a giant group of cutthroat spawning in a stream next to a lake. Each of the 6 otters captured a 13-17 inch cutthroat and proceeded to eat off the tail and head, then lazily eat the rest. The sound of otters crunching fish bones was amazing. I could not have eaten a fish that fast. Black otter poop was all over the bank and you didn't want it on your shoes.
  6. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,399
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Damned otters. They are always a step ahead of me or lurking to steal the fish I've hooked.
  7. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    They seem to have iron mouths. I've seen them crunching through barnacle shells.
  8. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,178
    the beach
    Ratings: +373 / 0
    Did you know that their fur is so thick and oily, that their skin doesn't really ever get wet?

    That is awesome, in my opinion.

  9. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,026
    Ratings: +342 / 0
    I had them take up residence under a Saratoga Pass cabin I once owned. The stench was pretty bad under there, and seeing a 4' long angry otter loping towards me in the dark of a cramped crawl space was a little unnerving to say the least. I eventually was successful in barracading them out, but we always would glare suspiciously at one another as one would swim past me on the beach while fishing.
    They're not very polite when visiting a moored out boat either.
    But they sure are fun to watch. I've read that they (and seals, too) are able to follow their prey by sensing the turbulence left behind by the fish they're pursuing. They use their whiskers to sense subtle changes in the wake left by fast swimmers such as salmon - amazing to me!
    Eyejuggler likes this.
  10. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,209
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    I hate them with a passion... This year at the weir we spent a lot of time shooting them with law enforcement rounds, they still got a steelhead or two. Bastards...
  11. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,044
    Des Moines
    Ratings: +767 / 0
    The fish are more theirs than they are yours.
  12. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,209
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Pat on 99% of the river that is true, but once the otters all learned they could herd the fish to the weir fish wouldn't pass the weir, this lead us to have bad data because we can't accurately count (or trap fish with tags) really freaked out fish. Also when steelhead are dropping out of the system they need to get into saltwater ASAP, we would hate if our project had a negative impact on the run strength, which is typically 30% respawn fish. Its kind of like a mini version of the sea lions at boneville (although I'm sure they ate the shit ouf of fish at celio falls).
  13. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,044
    Des Moines
    Ratings: +767 / 0
    ya i didn't realize you were talking about that, that sucks, still love the otters in the other 99%
  14. Jordan Simpson Active Member

    Posts: 786
    Tsawwassen, BC
    Ratings: +54 / 1
    River otters would actually come into our fish room at the lodge I worked at this past summer and try to steal guests fish as they were being cleaned. Sneaky bastards.
  15. mbowers Active Member

    Posts: 200
    Jupiter, FL / Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    Many years ago I fished hard through sunset and into the moonlight hoping to hook the one coho I had seen jump 60 minutes earlier. I was alone, in waist deep water on a cobblestone beach and unable to see anything in the water. When I was half way into a retrieve SOMETHING picked up my boot from the bottom. I jumped back three leaps and let my heart find my chest again. Fifty feet away an otter shot to the surface and snorted his disappointment at my presence. Not sure who had the bigger scare.

    I think the otter was scouring the bottom and lifting up cobblestones to look for rock crabs. My boot just looked like another cobblestone until I kicked back.
  16. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,151
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +963 / 1
    good fur for fly tying on them.
    ak_powder_monkey likes this.
  17. Thomas Williams Habitual Line Stepper

    Posts: 1,385
    Ansbach, Germany
    Ratings: +397 / 16
    I know we are talking river systems and the salt but I noticed this weekend a family of otters is now patrolling the north shore of Pass Lake. I watched a large male exit the water with a fish that looked to be around 20"!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  18. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,077
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +395 / 0
    I've seen them there as well. The first time I saw them, all I saw was a huge wake traveling parallel to shore as I was rigging up. I couldn't figure out what it was, thinking that maybe it was a big fish skimming the surface for the 'mid emergers. It wasn't until my next trip there that I saw the same wake again then saw the head and body of that big boy.
  19. John P Member

    Posts: 81
    Renton, Washington
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    I watched a mother otter drag a large sole onto a South Sound beach with her 3 kits following behind. I noticed them because the kits were squealing in anticipation. They all circled around and between squeals chomped away devouring the fish in a matter of minutes.

    John P.
  20. Richard Torres Active Member

    Posts: 1,350
    Mill Creek
    Ratings: +76 / 0

    Monkey's of the water world....