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DNR set to reopen otter trapping in western Maryland

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it’s preparing to allow trapping for river otters in far western Maryland after reintroducing them to the region.

The agency said this week it expects to set a bag limit of one otter per season in Allegany and Garrett counties, starting in December.

Trappers can take as many as 10 per season farther east, where otters are more plentiful.

Wildlife managers say water pollution from logging and mining had virtually eliminated river otters from far western Maryland by 1900.

The agency began restoring the population in the 1990s through a cooperative agreement with Pennsylvania, and by moving otters from the lower Eastern Shore.

The agency says trapping will produce valuable information about the western Maryland otter population.