View Full Version : Clinch River mink

07-12-2010, 12:33 PM
Just wondering if any of you guys have seen these neat animals along the banks of the clinch? I saw two mink just up from the jail last week, which are the first two that I have ever seen there. Used to see them all the time up north "PA,NJ) along almost every stream I fished. Watch the banks for them next time, you might get a glimpse!

07-12-2010, 12:49 PM
There are quite a few mink around this area. I haven't seen any in a long time, but my grandfather used trap them on our farm when I was a youngster.

07-12-2010, 01:24 PM
I've seen something swimming in the water on the far bank of the weir pool....i just assumed they were otters.

07-12-2010, 02:11 PM
There are alot of minks on the Clinch and the other rivers around here. They are pretty sneaky, but can be seen most trips skulking along the bank. Muskrats, otters and beavers are also around in good numbers.

07-12-2010, 03:09 PM
Last winter I had one of these little guys swim right by me into a hole on the bank of the North River, I was wondering if it was a mink or a muskrat. How do you tell the difference between the two?

07-12-2010, 03:18 PM
Muskrats are kind of chubby and have a small skiny tail, kind of like a rat tail.. without researching it Id say a muskrat rarely getss over 16 inches... A mink on the other hand has a slender body and a longer hairy tail. They typically walk with a hunched up back which may make them seem a little less long than they really are, and Id say the ones I saw last week were around 20 inches long.. Otters are just alot bigger than both the muskrats and mink, and their tails are thick and long. Hope that helps..

If you saw it swim into a hole it was almost certainly a muskrat...

07-12-2010, 03:18 PM

A mink is more slender and longer on the average, kinda like a very small otter. A muskrat is more plump, think of a long-haired rat:eek:


07-12-2010, 04:04 PM
Just like Pineman said even has a rat tail compared to the furry tail of a mink. The tail is an easy way to distinguish them a part. The mink has a longer neck as well. I used to see them fairly often on the Caney

07-12-2010, 05:18 PM
Definitely minks on the Clinch. I used to take my wife fishing occasionally, and she was a corn-chucker who killed fish ... had to put a few on the stringer, and the minks would sneak up and eat all but the heads!

07-12-2010, 07:32 PM
I googled them both (not sure why it took me this long to think of that) and what I crossed paths with was definitely a mink. I remember it just staring at me before it entered the river and I thought it was a ferret or something like that, definitely not a muskrat. Wish I could have gotten my camera out quicker.

07-12-2010, 08:39 PM
I witnessed a mink kill this fish on the Caney fork several years back. It was a battle royale but the mink held onto the fish and chewed through its skull into the brain.


07-12-2010, 11:03 PM
I've seen minks and weasels in the park. They look quite a bit alike.

No Hackle
07-13-2010, 10:48 AM
Saw 2 on the west prong of little river couple years ago. Beautiful animals. They werent to concerned with me, maybe with them on the other side gave them the comfort they needed.

07-14-2010, 12:14 PM
saw one kill a chipmunk in the fall on Forney Creek. I scared the crap out of us. My friend has video of it.

07-18-2010, 10:35 PM
I have pictures of red mink on the Clinch. I have caught them jet black, dark chocolate and brown with white patches on their chest but, never before saw a red one until that day. We didn't just see one either we saw several all down the river. It must be a special color phase there. A female mink will range from 15-18 inches and a male mink from 18 all the way up to a giant 26 incher. The largest I've ever caught. I used to trap when I was younger. I loved it and make appoligy for it. I kept finding muskrats eaten in my sets all along a stretch of river so I placed a two traps side by side one day in the area I had the most losses at and that night caught a mink (the 26 incher) and a muskrat. He had eaten half the rat before getting caught in my trap. A mink will indeed swim into holes. They will catch, kill and eat muskrats. They are inquisitive little critters and investigate every nook and cranny. A mink however by nature does NOT like to get wet but, doesn't hesitate to do so in search of food. A mink will swim several feed underwater to enter a muskrat hole. I know this because I have caught them in waste deep water in a trap guarding an entrance. I once was setting in a tree stand on a high mountain ridge deer hunting and heard what I thought was just another squirrel milling around. I was surprised when I saw a mink scampering across the woods. He crossed the ridge and out of sight. The nearest creek was a 1/4 mile or better. I also watched a mink enter a hole in some rip rap and there were some terrible sounds coming from that hole when all the sudden the mink came out of the hole draggin a huge rat that was almost as big as he was. A mink is skinny (about wrist size or smaller) and long with a 6-8 inch fuzzy tail. A muskrat is round (imagine a football) with a hair less tail that is about as long as the animal itself. An adult otter is much larger and looks like a mink on steroids. It's tail though is wide at the base and tapers down to a point. It's tail is some what flat and the same length hair that's on it's body is on it's tail. Otters are very vocal and you can (if you listen to them long enough) mimic their whistles and chirps and they will come to check you out. If I knew how to get pictures from my phone to the computer I would post a picture of 2 baby otters that I came up on and played with on Chilhowee this year. They had no fear of me what so ever and even let me touch them. I was setting on the edge of the boat with my bare feet on a rock with one sniffing my foot when momma came from under my boat and ruined our party. She about made me ruin my shorts too. She didn't like the new friend her babies had made.