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River otter spotted in Concord’s Ellis Lake

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 6:15 am in Beavers, River otters.

River otter on tree branch in Ellis Lake, Concord. Photo by Susan The Crazy All-Animals Lady of Ellis Lake, Concord, CA.
1otter susan, concord

It’s ME again!
Today I was taking pictures of birds and turtles around noon when I saw something moving faster than usual in the lake — it was a river otter swimming toward me!  It got out of the water onto a tree limb that extends over the water, and STARTED BARKING A ME!  No one else was around until the otter swam off into the drainage pipe that leads to the Bay…  PLEASE SEND NATURE/ANIMAL LOVERS OF ANY KIND, NOT JUST BIRD WATCHERS!
Susan the Crazy All-Animals Lady of Ellis Lake, Concord, California

Proving, once again, that if there’s a nice lake full of fish to eat, even in the middle of a city, a river otter will find it!

That otter started out in the Sacramento River Delta. It swam down the river to Pacheco Creek at the base of the Benicia Bridge … swam up Pacheco Creek to Willow Pass Road … and then somehow made it approximately three-quarters of a mile over dry land and up and down city streets and through yards to Ellis Lake. Think about it. That’s pretty amazing. It reminds me of the beaver a bunch of years ago that followed the same route … past Willow Pass Road … continuing through Walnut Creek, turned down a tiny tributary creek, climbed out into a backyard on Newell near Kaiser Hospital … and cut down a tree that almost took out the homeowner’s back patio. There’s no escape from wildlife. (There’s more from Susan in a previous entry, below, about the birds of Ellis Lake.) /Gary

River otter swimming in Ellis Lake, Concord. Photo by Susan The Crazy All-Animals Lady of Ellis Lake, Concord, CA.
1otter2 susan concord

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3 Responses to “River otter spotted in Concord’s Ellis Lake”

  1. Dave Harper Says:

    Amazing that there is a river otter in Ellis Lake. I was raised in that area as a kid and spent much time in the area. Gary’s story of origin makes perfect sense. I am still amazed… Just good stuff!

  2. Megan Isadore Says:

    Folks, this is wonderful news. I’d like to announce the launch of our new project and 501c3 based in the Bay Area! The River Otter Ecology Project will research and document the status and ecology of local river otter populations; educate the public about their important role \in healthy watersheds; and network with local organizations working on-the-ground to restore and protect their habitat. We will begin by focusing on the North Bay, and will subsequently expand our efforts to encompass the greater SF Bay Area.

    As we build from the ground up in 2012, one of our first projects will be to launch an interactive, online sightings database where we will document and share river otter observations (including photos/video). This will allow us to begin documenting the range of the population, of which nothing is currently known. This data will also help us in selection of sites to set up remote-camera observational points in various watersheds.

    This is where we need your help…. If you have sighted a river otter recently please let us know! Email with:
    -date and time
    -observer (if you want to be credited)
    -# of otters
    -otter behavior, any other cool observations
    -photos and video if you have

    Our website will go up very soon. Meanwhile, visit us on Facebook, “like” and “share” with your network. The River Otter Ecology Project.


  3. Robert Prat Says:

    I saw at least one (possibly two) otters in Lake Ellis Park on the morning on April 27th, 2012 and one on the morning of April 28th, 2012. Really happy to see the otter(s), but I’m a little sad because I think they’re eating the baby ducks. We had 13 earlier this week and now there aren’t any.

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