Use Of Trapper Harvest Survey Data To Meet Essa Information Needs

A mail survey of licensed trappers was conducted annually from 1976-1977 to 1979-1980 to obtain data to meet reporting requirements of the United States Endangered Species Scientific Authority (ESSA) on the status of the river otter (Lutra canadensis) in Mississippi. Estimates of harvest by trapping, number of trappers catching otters, trapper success, catch per unit effort, and species distribution were obtained from the data. An average of 356 licensed trappers caught an average of 1,155 river otters annually over the 4-year period. Occurrence of river otter was documented in 60 (73%) of 82 counties and 9 (90%) of 10 major river basins in Mississippi. Estimates of harvest and catch per unit effort indices indicated a stable or possibly increasing population density for river otter in Mississippi over the 4-year period.

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