Last week was Sea Otter appreciation week, but better late than never. While most of the otters seen in the Salish Sea are river otters, sea otters used to flourish in the Washington State waters. In the 1700s, the popularity of their fur - the thickest of any mammal - led to their demise.
A group of otters is called a raft. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In 2000, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife drafted a plan to protect the sea otter. According to a survey of the Washington Coast in July 18, 2013 the count was 1,272 sea otters. This included 57 pups, 10 and 47 respectively. The inland waters - including around the San Juans were not surveyed. The study noted there have been credible sightings a few sea otters in the Salish Sea.
Destruction Island off the coast of Olympic National Park had the largest population with 454 including 3 pups.
Sea Doc Society listed the Northern Sea Otter as one of the many Species of Concern in the Salish Sea.
12 things you might not know are posted here.