Joanna Bramlett lives on the 48.5 Mile Marker of Lake of the Ozarks, and she recently spotted an unusual visitor on her dock security cameras.
A family of six river otters seem to have taken up residence, and Joanna has video footage of them scampering across the dock and frolicking in the snow. Bramlett, who grew up in Camdenton, said these "fish bandits" first appeared on her dock last winter and have returned for 2021.
"I have never seen an otter at the lake. Not once. And now two January's in a row!" said Bramlett.
Cute though they are, otters can cause some problems for dock owners. According to Bramlett, the otters leave droppings on the dock and have chewed carpet on the ramp they use to get up onto the dock. She noticed the crappie beds under their dock have been less productive, too.
And they’ve had some fish baskets go empty. Before they realized it was their new furry arrivals, Bramlett’s husband thought it was a human thief getting into the baskets at night.
"Turns out, it’s the otters - I’m thankful we figured that out before he accused any of our sweet neighbors of stealing his fish!"