A Survey of Furbearer Resources of the Atchafalaya River Flood Plain in Louisiana

Fur trappers in the area of the Atchafalaya River flood plain were interviewed following the 1971-72 season. Fur catch information from two portions of the flood plain, the swamp region and the marsh region, were compared; and the total fur catch was computed for the swamp region. Mean harvest values were computed and expressed as animals caught per trap-night per square mile per trapper. Differences between mean harvest values from the two regions were not significant for muskrat (Ondatra zihethicus), nutria (Myocastor coypus), and otter (Lutra canadensis). Mink (Mustela vison) and raccoon (Procyon lotor) harvest means were significantly higher in the swamp region than in the marsh region. Harvest data were also obtained for different vegetative types within the swamp region. Three species (nutria, mink, and raccoon) each comprised an important portion of the total reported catch in this region and made up a large portion of the total reported income. In the marsh region, only the nutria comprised greater than ten percent of the total reported catch and income. The mean net income of swamp region trappers was $1464.54, while the mean net income of marsh region trappers was $1198.77. During the 1971-1972 season, approximately 34 percent of all mink and 25 percent of all raccoons harvested in Louisiana were obtained in the swamp region of the Atchafalaya River flood plain, and the computed total value of the 1971-1972 fur harvest from this region was $172,000.

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