DNR seeks river otter carcasses for population study

DNR seeks river otter carcasses for population study
A river otter forages along the bank of a West Virginia stream. (Photo courtesy Daniel Olaleye)

The is asking trappers in the Mountain State to help collect data on river otter populations by donating otter carcasses.


Between 50 and 75 otter carcasses are needed each year over the course of the next five trapping seasons.

A $20 gift card of your choice is being offered for each useable carcass. Useable carcasses include those with skulls and all organs intact.

The division will use reproductive and age data collected from donated carcasses to model the state’s population and better determine how the otter population would respond to changes in bag limits and season lengths.


Trappers are asked to freeze carcasses as soon as they are skinned. Fresh or frozen carcasses may be delivered to any division district office where a data sheet must be filled out by DNR staff.

Trappers may also make arrangements to have carcasses picked up by calling a district office contact at the phone numbers:

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

For more information about the study or carcass collections, contact a district office or Rich Rogers, the state furbearer program coordinator, at  or 304-822-3551.


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