River otter
A river otter (Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.)

River otter carcasses needed for WVDNR study

ELKINS — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is asking trappers to donate river otter carcasses to assist in collecting much-needed data on otter populations in the state. Reproductive and age data collected from carcasses will be used to model the state’s population and better determine how the otter population would respond to any changes in bag limits and season lengths.

DNR is looking to collect 50-75 carcasses a year over the course of the next five trapping seasons. A $20 gift card is being offered for each useable carcass, which include those with skulls and all organs intact.

Trappers are asked to freeze carcasses as soon as they are skinned. Fresh or frozen carcasses may be delivered to any DNR district wildlife office where a data sheet must be filled out by DNR staff. Trappers may also make arrangements to have their carcasses picked up by calling one of the district offices listed below.

  • District 1 Farmington, Steve Rauch, 304-825-6787
  • District 2 Romney, Rich Rogers, 304-822-3551
  • District 3 French Creek, Tyler Evans, 304-924-6211
  • District 4 Beckley, Todd Dowdy, 304-256-6947
  • District 5 Alum Creek, Kem Shaw, 304-756-1023
  • District 6 Parkersburg, Jeff McCrady, 304-420-4550
  • Elkins Operations Center, Keith Krantz, 304-637-0245

For more information about the study or carcass collections, contact the district office near you or furbearer program coordinator Rich Rogers at rich.e.rogers@wv.gov or (304) 822-3551.

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