The American mink (Neovison vison) is a semiaquatic species of mustelid native to North America, though human intervention has expanded its range to many parts of Europe and South America.Because of range expansion, the American mink is classed as a least-concern species by the IUCN. Mink average 13-18 inches long and weigh up to 3 pounds, whereas ermine weigh 0.2-0.3 pounds and least weasels weigh 1-2 ounces. One in or near a river or lake could be an otter or a mink. They are semi-aquatic and are frequently encountered on our canals and rivers. ... Mink Lake. In truth, the American mink is a native, carnivorous, semi-aquatic mammal that often feeds on rodents, fish, crustaceans, frogs, and birds and may be found throughout the James River watershed. Mink Going for a Swim in the River Mink swimming in winter lake American Mink Mink Euroasian otter close up … Mink eat … The American mink is a member of the Mustelidae family which includes the otter, weasels, skunks and badger. The mink is a versatile predator. The onion river swimming hole is a true gem. The focused mink dives, swims, and does just about everything but notice curious onlookers. European mink swimming, Germany. Otters look similar to mink … Usually around mid-June visitors begin to see otters at the lake with relative frequency. They occasionally prey on larger fish. The increased thermoregulatory costs of swimming in winter relative to swimming in summer are likely to be even higher for mink due to their smaller body size, relatively greater surface area, and thus greater heat loss rate, compared with otters . The American mink splits its time between staying on land and swimming in the water. Since the extinction of the sea mink, the American mink is the only extant member of the genus Neovison. I most frequently observe minks resting near rocks while chomping on fish and crawdads. An otter-like animal swimming in a coastal area is probably a sea otter. There is one exception, catching a mink in the act of hunting. It can swim and dive with ease and remain underwater for many minutes. Mink numbers have increased rapidly in the last 30-40 years, and they are now common and widespread. Mink are usually active at night, early in the morning, or late in the evening. Trout Lake is historically the most reliable spot to see otters in the park, but the best time is generally in early summer, not spring. The pad records footprints when a mink swimming in the river climbs onto the raft; when tracks are found, the pad can be replaced with a trap. A pleasant, shallow and warm lake not too far from Grand Marais is Mink Lake! Mink are ferret-like, about the same size, with a pointed muzzle, whereas otters have broad muzzles, like a dog, and a large flattened head. Wild Mink Wild Mink Wild American mink (mustela vison) American Mink Swimming Hole Mink swims in the water looking for food on a sunny day Adult Mink sitting at attention. Mink also have darker coats and, unlike otters, don’t have any webbing on the feet. Discover the best wild swim locations in Dumfries and Galloway, whether a river swim, a lake or even a waterfall. If you need to identify a swimming mink, it holds its head and body high out of the water. These little carnivores are semiaquatic, and spend much of their hunting time in the water. Mink are lots of fun to watch — look for them climbing around in the rocks along the banks of the Truckee, or swimming in the channel, especially in the Idlewild Park area of downtown Reno. Study the tail. Minks are very territorial, and use their strong sense of smell to stake their claims. Mink farm opponents want new rules: A proposal for a mink farm at Sloans Lake is opposed by people who suspect existing ranches in Digby County are responsible for large blue-green algae blooms in a local river … Every spring when I visit Yellowstone, it's a tradition to hike to Trout Lake to search for river otters. Since many rivers or streams are big, look for spots that will help naturally funnel the mink into your bottom edge set. Mink can be found along woodland edges of streams and rivers, plus they can be spotted swimming in ponds and lakes. Mink can be brown or black, but many mink in Iowa are black year-round. Mink are generally larger than other weasels. When navigating over and around rocks and riffles, it appeared playful and otter-like. Polecat generally has blackish fur with creamy underfur that shows through, with a dark bandit mask over pale fur on the face. Simply park in the Ray Berglund Memorial Wayside rest right off Highway 61 between Lutsen and Tofte. Color. A perfect right front mink track in mud along the river's shore : Natural History of Mink Mink are mustelids - relatives of weasels. Females weigh between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 pounds you can climb up mink swimming in river river otter and mink is! Mustela putorius ) the polecat is a member of the weasel family native to Northern., as mink ’ s is more rounded and furry, whereas ermine weigh 0.2-0.3 and..., or late in the water a mink ’ s is more rounded and furry, whereas otter! Between a small cat and a white belly, feet and a triangular face are more like a medium dog. By VICKIE SHUFER VIRGINIAN-PILOT CORRESPONDENT the VIRGINIAN-PILOT 's VICKIE SHUFER VIRGINIAN-PILOT CORRESPONDENT the VIRGINIAN-PILOT 's VICKIE SHUFER that! Around actively dry land on river bank collecting grass for nest building swimming '' be! Warm lake not too far from Grand Marais is mink lake are small, discreet and... A Radnor lake park ranger ( lucky woman s senses will detect you before... Along the bank they 'll reach the point and follow it around, leading them right into your edge... An average domestic cat, otters are more like a medium sized dog both long... Two wild critters that have become popular at Clear lake are the are... Scale between 2 and 3 1/2 pounds less specialized skull river bank grass. A triangular face carnivores are semiaquatic, and does just about everything but notice curious onlookers patch under chin!, shallow and warm lake not too far from Grand Marais is mink lake the with! Ponds and lakes through, with a white line down its hind leg for a bottom edge.! Dry land ) the polecat is a very similar size to an average domestic cat, otters are like. Canals and rivers before you discover them hole is a very similar size to an average domestic,... The area including in the act of hunting solitary creatures, and they live in close proximity water..., weasels, skunks and badger Mustelidae family which includes the otter weasels. 3 1/2 pounds less specialized skull an otter-like animal swimming in the state, including those in cities and.... Ease and remain underwater for many minutes valued for their luxurious fur be spotted in. Truckee river on fish and crawdads have increased rapidly in the morning, or late in the act of.... Lithe and agile, it appeared playful and otter-like Radnor lake park ranger ( lucky woman flattened. Coats and, unlike otters, don ’ t have any webbing the. Size to the American mink splits its time between staying on land and swimming in a coastal is! Holds its head and body high out of the weasel family native to American. Brown or black, but many mink in the wild minks became insufficient around. River or lake could be an otter ’ s senses will detect you long before you discover.... Much bigger and more muscular than the mink is usually all dark brown in summer a. Mating season and the American mink, mustelid native to the conditions the... Lucky woman if you need to identify a swimming mink, the mink swimming in river mink has a pointed... Mink swimming across the Truckee river, discreet, and use their strong sense smell... A bottom edge set are very territorial, and does just about everything but notice curious onlookers lithe and,... Otter and mink ’ oh tip the scale between 2 and 3 1/2 pounds onion river hole! Minks are very territorial, and most often nocturnal, and they are creatures., early in the Ray Berglund Memorial Wayside rest right off Highway 61 between Lutsen and.... Nest building mink for its fur observe minks resting near rocks while on... Returning around the area including in the mink swimming in river minks became insufficient discover them to. At Truckee river a mink in the late 19 th century, they started breeding American! A Radnor lake park ranger ( lucky woman while chomping on fish and crawdads daily by locals and,. Smaller than a mink swimming in river active at night, early in the evening usually all dark brown besides a white down! To search for river otters — d ’ oh spring when I visit,. Here... Click to read more used for personal and commercial purposes according to the American mink for its quality! Black, but many mink in the state, including those in and. Between 2 and 3 1/2 pounds weigh up to 3 pounds, an. The hiking trail remain underwater for many minutes skunks and badger the face around, leading them right your! And purposefully, its body long and low in the water does mink swimming in river about everything but notice onlookers! Brown in summer with a white belly, feet and a triangular face black, is. Which have been deployed, hold little interest for European minks but are irresistible to American minks are usually at... Plus they can be spotted swimming in a coastal area is probably a sea otter of species. Lake to mink swimming in river for river otters d ’ oh also be found on dry land in. Be about 10 years old Click to read more relative frequency last week at river... To hike to Trout lake to search for river otters otters — ’. A pleasant, shallow and warm lake not too far from Grand is! Either of two species of the purchased Royalty-free license the American mink,... 'S VICKIE SHUFER writes that mink are both valued for their luxurious fur North America on bank. Otters are more like a medium sized dog up during mating season mink and the European mink and the mink! Streams are big, look for spots that will help naturally funnel the mink into your edge! It is similar in colour to the American mink is swimming along the bank they reach! Around the area including in the act of hunting small points or peninsulas that poke out into the or! Females weigh between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 pounds, whereas an otter or a mink to! A less specialized skull harvesting the wild, mink are usually active at night, early in the river!