PROVIDENCE (AP) — Otter hunting and trapping would be allowed in Rhode Island under proposed legislation that would overturn a decades-long ban.
The Providence Journal reports that supporters of the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Michael Chippendale of Foster said during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that Rhode Island is the only New England state without a management plan for otters.
They say otters have damaged trout and duck ponds.
Charlie Brown, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Environmental Management, told the committee the number of river otters in the state has been on the rise.
Opponent Dennis Tabella of Defenders of Wildlife urged the bill’s defeat.
The committee held the bill for further study.