South Dakota’s First River Otter Trapping Season Ends

The 2020 river otter trapping season has closed. The harvest limit of 15 river otters was reached on November 6, 10:45 a.m. central time and, as a result, the season has officially ended.

Trappers now have until November 7, 10:45 a.m. central time (24 hours from the close of the season) to report any harvested river otters to GFP by calling 605.353.7319.

After this time, any trapped river otter is considered incidental take and must be turned in to GFP.

If the incidentally trapped river otter is alive, the trapper must release the river otter right away. Trappers who release river otters are encouraged to notify a GFP representative.

If the incidentally captured river otter is found dead in a trap, it must be left undisturbed and the trapper must contact a GFP representative within 12 hours.

All river otter pelts are required to be tagged through the eyeholes with a CITES tag provided by GFP within five days of harvest, and the carcass must be turned in to GFP.

A person may only possess, purchase, or sell raw river otter pelts that are tagged by GFP. If taken from another jurisdiction, river otters must be properly and securely tagged with a tag supplied by the governmental entity issuing the license. If the governmental entity issuing the license does not issue a tag, other proof that the river otter has been lawfully taken is required.

South Dakota’s river otter trapping season began at sunrise on November 1 and marked the first-ever season in the state. This trapping season created a new and exciting opportunity for South Dakota trappers this fall. For more information about the river otter trapping season, please visit