Fishers, a forest denizen, are making a comeback in our area. This medium-sized member of the weasel family nearly disappeared in NY in the 1930’s because of habitat loss and over-trapping for their fur. With current restrictions on hunting and trapping, they are returning to many of the places where they once were common.

Fisher - photo from Conservationist

Fisher – photo from Conservationist

Adult fisher (Martes pennati) are about three feet long, dark brown with some grey fur. They are comfortable on the forest floor, or climbing trees, where they are said to be the fastest animals in tree tops. Because of their style of movement, they also are called “fisher cats” or “tree fox”.

Their common prey are birds, squirrels, mice, and porcupine.  Beaver is a favorite as well, and DEC uses beaver as bait for wildlife cameras to document their expanding range.  Fisher also eat large quantities of seeds, fruits, and berries. As they search for food, fisher travel a circuit of 10 to 20 miles every few weeks.

Fisher have an eerie call. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to hear one around our lakes community.

See the Conservationist issue of December 2014 for more information on these elusive animals.