Several hundred river otters were released into Illinois waterways in the mid-1990s as part of a program to restore their numbers, and now the otter population is soon expected to reach 4,600.
Not everyone is happy about the proliferation of otters. JB Esker of Teutopolis estimates otters have helped themselves to about $2,000 worth of catfish on his fish farm in south-central Illinois, and other fish farmers report similar problems.
Otters remain protected in Illinois, meaning farmers can apply for permits to trap and move them but can't kill them.
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