Originally Posted by NDuncan
Otters are an apex predator. They don't have very many natural predators anyway-regardless of reintroduction or otherwise. You are right - they do impact trout, but i don't that impact is necessarily all negative. In fact they do fill exactly the niche they need to. Trout have very few natural predators in the water and do in fact overpopulate many of the streams in the smokies -leading to stunted growth and a small average trout size. There may be some shift in population profiles, but I doubt the overall effect is very noticeable in the GSMNP. A single flood probably has a bigger impact on a stream than all the otters.
Perhaps they need to re-introduce mountain lions and wolves.