River otter (Lutra canadensis) management in Arkansas is hampered by a lack of information on population parameters. This initial study on the biology of Arkansas river otter is concerned with present distribution and harvest trends. Otter occur throughout Arkansas, except in the upper Ozark region. A distributional shift, apparently along the Arkansas River, has led to an increase in otter harvest in the Ouachita Mountain region. A dramatic increase in otter harvest over the past four years (1976-1979) is attributable, in part, to a pelt price increase. Additionally, nuisance level beaver (Castor canadensis) populations and an extended trapping season for beaver may have influenced the otter harvest.

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