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Old 08-29-2020, 10:12 PM   #1
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Otters

I have a mooring bouy at my home. For quite a few years it has been used only infrequently, but this year and last, I have moored Retreat there for as much as several weeks. That increased use has led me to seek a solution for the Otters that come to visit.

They show up singly and in families of up to 5. They leap onto the swim grid easily. I know I will never stop that.

I hang my dinghy from stern davits. The dinghy bow hangs up as high as the top rail. The stern hangs at the height of the cap rail. The otters leave evidence of their visits in the dinghy, but so far, not on the boat.

I have tried blocking the steps on the transom by hanging up to 4 fenders over those steps. When I hung only a single large fender over the steps I could tell the otters had simply moved it out of their way. With 4 fenders, I have seen no evidence that they have moved the fenders.

This evening, I watched a family group of 5 otters swimming towards the boat. I watched through binoculars, from my dining room, about 400 ft away.

The boat was swinging, so I had a view of the transom, dinghy, parts of the aft deck, and of course, 5 otters. They first leaped onto the swim grid. I didn't see any movement of the 4 fenders, but then I did see an otter on the aft deck of the boat. As I watched, it slipped through the hawse hole on the far corner of the aft deck, the hole on the port side of the boat, and disappeared. On that side, I have my swim ladder, inverted, that I sometimes use to climb aboard from the swim grid. I don't think there is any other possibility for the otters than to climb that 1" SS ladder to the height of the Hawse hole on the port end of the transom and slip aboard.

My shelter neighbour at my Coal Harbour moorage has plastic dinosaurs on his boat and on the dock, which he claims keeps the otters away. I now have plastic dinosaurs on my dinghy for that purpose, but those in Houstoun Passage don't seem at all deterred.

I will be lowering my swim ladder on my next visit to my boat, likely tomorrow, but ask this TF group for other otter-deterrent ideas.

Curiously what they leave behind is not simply excrement, though there is lots of that, but when they have come into my dinghy for lunch, they leave the face of the fish they have otherwise completely consumed. Some blood and guts too, but they are quite clean eaters, except for always leaving the face.
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:32 PM   #2
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Can you put your pet alligator on the boat?
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:45 PM   #3
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Electric fencer !!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:45 PM   #4
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motion detector with high pitch sound? https://www.amazon.com/Amtek-Critter.../dp/B0028PEQZU

On second review, not available at this time from Amazon, but they could be from another source. Sorry!
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:06 PM   #5
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Never heard of this item before...motion activated anti cat/dog spray...found after exhaustive 2.8 second internet search...cheap and maybe worth a try:

https://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-Deter.../dp/B0721735K9
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:11 AM   #6
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Another thing to think about is the exhaust. We have a weasel that lives under the boardwalk here. I put in otter guards just in case it decides to go into the exhaust. You may want to put them in your boat just in case.
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Old 08-30-2020, 02:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted View Post
Electric fencer !!!!!!!!!!
At one time I had an electric fence in the casual living room to keep the dogs off the lounge. Bought it in a country supplies store during a country circuit trip. It can work, I suppose with the boat on the hook electricity supply could be the issue, but it`s worth considering, and those cute otters would soon learn.
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
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At one time I had an electric fence in the casual living room to keep the dogs off the lounge. Bought it in a country supplies store during a country circuit trip. It can work, I suppose with the boat on the hook electricity supply could be the issue, but it`s worth considering, and those cute otters would soon learn.
we are in Coal harbor too.
electric fence worked great
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:16 AM   #9
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:31 AM   #10
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What about netting? Small enough to prevent getting through and tight enough so they can’t get around it.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:08 AM   #11
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Again, as it seems my previous important post did not work.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:01 AM   #12
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You think you have a problem?
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:52 AM   #13
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Thanks Guys! Lots of good ideas for me to work through. I'll let you know how things work out.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:08 AM   #14
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I'd go with the thin monofilament netting like we used to put over our gardens to combat the deer from eating flowers and delicate leaves.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:51 AM   #15
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Otter Recipe.
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:09 AM   #16
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HiDHo, that looks like a groundhog or something terrestrial
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:19 AM   #17
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Many tasty recipes, taste like pork, used in stew, sausage, etc. Plus nice fur hats.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:37 PM   #18
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Hi-D-Ho,
It occurs to me that maybe you are being serious. Is this something found on menus in Alabama? (And, my question is serious, really!). Having eaten rabbits, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that otters can be tasty too.

Taking this thread a bit sideways, I can relate that here in Sweden, the following appear on menus:
Reindeer, wild boar, moose, eel, whale (in Norway only). We have otters, but have never heard of them arriving on the dinner table ;-). I make a mean Reindeer bolognese...from scratch.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:46 PM   #19
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My Boxer just has to look at them from 20 feet away and they dive into the water. They must talk as I sent him after one at the docks that was suntanning on a sailboat bimini.
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Old 08-30-2020, 01:53 PM   #20
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one method is to take a piece of plastic / rubber or something similar to Dri Dek, and stud it with either galvanized or stainless steel grabber screws, 1 or 1.25 ", and lay this on the swim platform, they will not hop up on the swim platform. This is like stubby bird spikes. Be sure to tie down the mats and weight the mats down so that they stay in place.
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