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Otters Could Help Save Native Fish In The Eel River

The Eel River Recovery Project ( ERRP) released the results of their latest (third) survey of the non native Sacramento pikeminnow in the Eel River. The results indicate the fish is thriving and is likely negatively impacting non native fish species such as Coho and Chinook Salmon, Summer Steelhead, lamprey, and trout.  

With help from UC Berkeley researchers and students, ERRP volunteers and director Pat Higgins survyed 12 miles of the South Fork of the Eel River in late June, from Rattlesnake Creek to Standish Hickey State Park in Humboldt County, to count pikeminnow. During the surveys, Higgins says they learned a few things from the river otters who feast on the invasive fish. One of the otter's hunting strategies could prove useful next year with the group plans to spear about 100 pikeminnow in an effort to put a dent in their population.