Salmon season opens; fishermen warned about otters

MOSS LANDING, Calif. (AP) — As the recreational salmon fishing season opens Saturday, marine conservationists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium are warning boaters to look out for California sea otters when they head out to sea.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1hsMgCM) 35 endangered sea otters have been killed by boat strikes in the last decade.

Advocates from Friends of the Sea Otter say boaters can decrease the odds of a strike by simply obeying the speed limit to avoid inadvertently hitting an otter.

Strikes are relatively common in and around the Moss Landing Harbor, which is near Elkhorn Slough, an estuary and prime otter habitat near Monterey Bay about 75 miles southeast of San Francisco.

Otters there eat crabs, which helps keep the estuary's sea grass habitat healthy.

The salmon season ends April 30.

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Information from: Santa Cruz Sentinel, http://www.santacruzsentinel.com