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View Full Version : Fisher cat in smokies


swamp
02-23-2012, 07:57 PM
I saw one last june .I was fishing oconluftee,not far upstream of the visitor center.I was taking a break,sitting by the creek just watching the water and eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.Saw something moving in the woods along the edge of the stream.It was very dark ,almost black,and about the size of an average house cat with a bushy tail.I know it wasn`t a mink or a marten,weasel or otter.When I got home I started researching such critters and found it.Fisher Cat. I think that is a rare sighting,or maybe not.Anyone else seen one?

Knothead
02-24-2012, 10:09 AM
Did you report it to the park staff? Interesting thread.

2weightfavorite
02-24-2012, 11:02 AM
Fishers are typically found in the far norther US and into Canada. If it was a fisher, he was 1000 miles out of his native range. You also mentioned a small bushy tail, fishers have a decentlu long tail, about 2/3 the leangth of their body. A very odd sighting none the less. Im guessing you looked at pics of lots of small mamals though, and sometimes animals do wander. My uncle had a boat on the ohio river up near pittsburgh and one year a pellican showed up and stayed all summer. Weird things happen.

tnflyfisher
02-24-2012, 12:37 PM
I saw one this past Saturday along the banks of the LPR however I am going to assume it was just a large mink. I was fishing a hole and he caught my eye going up and down the bank very close to the water. It was rather large and a deep dark chocolate/coffee color and a similar tail to what was described by OP. Fishers are mostly nocturnal from what I hear and as others have said are more concentrated in northern climates. Also, they don't even eat fish contrary to what their name may imply.... but who knows?? I think all those critters look almost exactly the same so not 100% sure what I saw either...

Tight Lines,

swamp
02-24-2012, 04:06 PM
Knothead,I didn`t report it.I had no idea what I had seen until I started looking at photos.Fisher never entered my mind until then.

2wgt, I didn`t make it very clear in my description,but this critter had a long bushy tail and the body was bulkier and more muscular than any mink or marten I`ve ever seen,much larger also.It wasn`t interested in the creek,just scratching around in the woods.Your right about about their range.I agree that it would very unusual to see one in this part of the country.

Tn fly fisher, Your right,who knows,I`m not 100% sure either.But I am sure what I saw looked like the pics of a fisher

Corbo
02-24-2012, 07:10 PM
Up in Maine over 25 years I only ever saw three Fisher; so even where they normally range it is uncommon to view them. Two were seen while deer hunting and one while turkey hunting. The first one I saw was stalking squirrels and caught one while I watched... they are vicious critters.

It's pretty cool that you saw one.

BlueRaiderFan
02-24-2012, 07:40 PM
Fishers are typically found in the far norther US and into Canada. If it was a fisher, he was 1000 miles out of his native range. You also mentioned a small bushy tail, fishers have a decentlu long tail, about 2/3 the leangth of their body. A very odd sighting none the less. Im guessing you looked at pics of lots of small mamals though, and sometimes animals do wander. My uncle had a boat on the ohio river up near pittsburgh and one year a pellican showed up and stayed all summer. Weird things happen.

Same thing for grouse but with the cooler temps in the mountains we get a few.

FishNHunt
02-24-2012, 08:41 PM
Actually, TWRA released some Fishers several years ago in Catoosa WMA but, as far as I know all but, 3-4 are accounted for....... dead. It is hard telling exactly what all is roaming around in the park. People will drop off about anything in the parking. I was told years ago that there were weasels in TN but, until I saw one, one night on Calderwood lake I didn't believe it. No, telling.

tnflyfisher
02-24-2012, 08:42 PM
Same thing for grouse but with the cooler temps in the mountains we get a few.

Saw one of those on Friday as well... flushed it on the trail in to cross Thunderhead in that tight woods. Scared the $%#@ out of me, like they always do. Little buggers take off right at your feet and wait till the last moment like they are doing it intentionally... :biggrin:

Upon further review, it looks like there actually could be some fishers down here...

http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/fisher.php

Tight Lines,

muskrat
03-03-2012, 08:52 PM
Did it look like this ?http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm73/naturespride/june2008canoetrip093-1.jpg

BlueRaiderFan
03-04-2012, 02:10 AM
Saw one of those on Friday as well... flushed it on the trail in to cross Thunderhead in that tight woods. Scared the $%#@ out of me, like they always do. Little buggers take off right at your feet and wait till the last moment like they are doing it intentionally... :biggrin:

Upon further review, it looks like there actually could be some fishers down here...

http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/fisher.php

Tight Lines,

Very cool...it's good that the park is off limits to hunting them with all of the pressure they get in other areas around the park.

muskrat
03-04-2012, 08:08 PM
I wanted to add more after the photo I posted but had issues after I added the image. I couldn't find anyway to continue my story below the picture, anyways here's the rest of the story.
For our 30th wedding anniversary my wife agreed to go on a canoe trip with me to the BWCA. While at our campsite I had wandered off into the woods to gather some firewood when my wife calls me and says there's a animal over here. There wasn't panic in her voice that might indicate a bear so I headed back to find Mr. Fisher helping himself to our trailmix.
He wasn't in any hurry to leave which surprised me he waited until I took some pictures and it wasn't until I poked at him with stick,a long one he did show us his rather sharp looking teeth,that he took off.

RuningWolf
04-25-2012, 11:36 PM
Actually, TWRA released some Fishers several years ago in Catoosa WMA but, as far as I know all but, 3-4 are accounted for....... dead. It is hard telling exactly what all is roaming around in the park. People will drop off about anything in the parking. I was told years ago that there were weasels in TN but, until I saw one, one night on Calderwood lake I didn't believe it. No, telling.
Lots of recent sightings of them on the Plateau