River otters have long sleek bodies, short legs, a stout muscular tail and webbed feet. Adults weigh between 12-30 lbs and are commonly 4 feet long. Otters live in a variety of aquatic habitats including lakes, rivers, ponds, bays and urban waterways. River otters are carnivores eating fish, mussels, crabs, clams etc. River otters feed on both fresh and saltwater prey. River otters digest food quickly, sometimes within an hour after eating. This causes otters to defecate frequently in large quantities.
Because of their diet, river otter feces are very pungent. This becomes a source of conflict for human/river otter interactions when Otters den in crawl spaces, boat houses, under docks or any structure. They will also climb on boats to hunt, to rest after feeding or simple curiosity. Accumulation of otter feces in these areas is problematic. River otters are opportunistic and will voraciously feed on fish in a decorative water feature. River otters will aggressively defend their den and young and should not be approached.