SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- At least 500
otters have been caught so far in Illinois' first river otter trapping season
Bob Bluett of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that
total comes with the season less than half over. Illinois' season began in November, and it
closes statewide March 31.
The prime weeks are still ahead and it's a bit early to tell how the
season is going overall.
Carroll Williams of the Illinois Trappers Association says he's talked
to several trappers who are having a successful season, including one who'd
caught five otters -- which is the season limit.
Otters were scarce in Illinois
until their reintroduction in the mid-1990s. Their population has since boomed
-- growing to an estimated 11,000 by 2009.