Otters causing problems for some Indiana pond owners


State wildlife officials say their efforts to reintroduce river otters to Indiana have been so successful the critters' appetites are causing problems for some pond owners.

State furbearer biologist Shawn Rossler says some Indiana pond owners are complaining that the aquatic mammals are gobbling up fish in their ponds. The Department of Natural Resources received 34 complaints last year about otters eating fish in private ponds, commercial fish hatcheries or causing other damage.

The agency says it wants to keep otter populations healthy as they continue to grow, while preventing conflicts with landowners.

The DNR says river otters are now found in 80 percent of Indiana's counties thanks to reintroduction efforts that began in 1995. That program's success led to the species' removal from Indiana's endangered species list in 2005.

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