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Fisher gives rare photo op

WILDLIFE — Idaho Fish and Game Department researchers used bait and a motion-activated remote camera to photograph the fisher shown above.  Seeing these critters in the Inland Northwest is very rare without taking such lengthy measures.

These large, quick members of the weasel family are common in the Northeast and Midwest, but rare in the Northern Rockies and Northwest, where they are one of the rarest carnivores.  A reintroduction project has been underway for several years on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

In all my outdoor travels, I've seen a fisher only three times.  The most recent was shortly after I began hiking the Goose Creek Trail to Goose Lake in the Clearwater National Forest just south into Idaho from Hoodoo Pass.

Fast Facts

Length: 3 feet (including 15 inch tail).
Weight: 12 pounds (males); 8 pounds (females).
Lifespan: About 7 years.


A fisher has a long, slim body with short legs, rounded ears, and a bushy tail. Fishers are larger and darker than martens and have thick fur. Fishers are agile and swift and are also excellent climbers.

—Defenders of Wildlife