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River Otter Sighting Form
River Otter Sighting Form
River otter in water. Taken by Steve Blue.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Have you seen an otter?

River Otter River otters are semi-aquatic members of the weasel family. Some of their defining features include: 

  • Long, torpedo-shaped bodies 

  • Short legs

  • A short snout 

  • Small, round ears

  • Light to dark brown fur that can appear almost black when wet, and a silver-brown underbelly

  • Weight between 15 and 25 lbs

  • Length of 3 to 4 1/2 feet from their nose to the tip of their long furry, cylindrical tail

  • A thick, muscular tail that tapers toward the tip, and comprises about one-third of their total length at 12-17 inches

River Otter Observation MapSeveral Colorado mammals, including mink, beaver and muskrats, share the same habitat as river otters and are commonly confused with otters. All have dark brown fur and can be particularly difficult to distinguish from each other when they are swimming on the surface, partially submerged, especially when viewed from a distance. When viewed on land, however, their body shape, weight, size and tails are all quite distinctive.

View a map of confirmed river otter observations. For more information, including a section on "commonly confused with...", see the River Otter Species Profile​.​​​​​


Report an Otter Sighting​

Step 1 of 3

Observer Information

Valid phone number is required

Valid email is required

Step 2 of 3

Observation Information

Valid date and time required. [mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm]

Describe exact location of observation. Please include county and nearby landmarks. List GPS location or Township/Range/Section. If using GPS coordinates, please use UTM coordinates and provide the Datum and Zone.


County in which observation occurred

Please describe the habitat where the animal was observed.

Would you be willing to provide a copy to CPW?

If you posted any related videos to the internet, please provide the URLs.

Step 3 of 3

Describe the otter's physical characteristics, including estimated length and weight:

Describe the behaviors of the animal(s) during your observation.

Other Comments

Please provide additional comments on physical characteristics.


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River Otter Sighting Form

Part I: Observer Information

First and Last Name:


City, State, Zip:



Part II: Observation Information

Observation Time:

Water Body:






Have photo/video:

Willing to share photo/video:

Video URL:

Part III: Physical Characteristics of the Animal(s)

Physical Description:

Body Length:

Body Weight:

Number of Otters Observed:

Adults or Juveniles Observed:

Additional Comments on Physical Characteristics:

Description of Animal Behavior: