Otters at an Adirondack Camp in Newcomb NY

The Goodnow Flow, a man-made Adirondack Lake

The first couple of video clips were shot at the bay by my waterfront cabin at the Goodnow Flow in Newcomb NY.  The Flow is a private manmade lake and is the collective property of  the surrounding lot owners, through a non-profit association (essentially an HOA).  It is close by the Essex chain (NY state lands).  Click on any image – All the ‘thumbnail’ images take you to video clips hosted on my YouTube ‘Channel’  which is mainly critter clips from IP cameras.

Everyone loves the Otters on our Adirondack lake.  We love the otters so much that we add a thousand trout to the lake each year! I have seen Otters out in the lake while in a canoe but they aren’t easy to photograph in that situation since you generally see a head and back …. and they  are gone with an insouciant flip of the tail by the time the camera is ready.  There is a shallow bay by my waterfront lot: I did record a pair during Labor Day weekend 2019 with a hand held camera, and in April 2021 via an IP camera on the shore of the bay.

Otter visits my stream at a waterfront Adirondack Camp

I have a stream that runs through my lot and into the Goodnow Flow.  Most of my content comes from IP cameras on the banks of stream or edge of the lake.  The otters in the clips from the  lake are heading towards or from the area where the stream runs into the lake.

The parts of the stream above the wooden boards and critter bridge are always a stream.  The area below is maybe confusing because the owners’ association drops the water level for the winter, so sometime it looks like the otters are in a stream while in summer its an extension of the lake.

You can see the change in video clips from April to May. I was surprised to see an otter humping its way up the frozen stream during the winter.  I saw the groove in the snow on camera and then scanned back in motion triggered footage, my first thought was seal not Otter! If you look carefully you can see leg holes in the bottom of the groove.

Otters fish (and fight) around my stream

My favorite clips are of the Otters catching and tussling over fish in the lake side of the stream, as the water is their primary environment.  Unfortunately I had switched cameras around and the Foscam doing those shots had lower resolution the 4MP Reolink units that are my current standard.  I wrongly assumed that not much would happen in that area after the lake refilled.

I have several video clips where the otters have caught large fish and are snacking, at least one more where I think the Otter failed to make a catch.  There were a lot of smaller fish visible in spring when the lake level was being raised.  I think there is a trend for the otters to visit after storms and one thought is that the cool aerated water coming down the waterfall in my stream and over those boards attracts the fish which in turn attracts the otters.  Apparently its easier to steal your partners fish than to find your own.  There is a longer, 8 minute version of the tussling otter pair on YouTube.

Lone vs Otter pairs at a waterfront Goodnow Flow camp

It seems like there is a pair during the summer season  but in winter and out of season I see singletons. 

There has been a pair for several summer seasons but according to a write up by SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry the mature otters are generally solitary thought the juveniles may hangout with Mom.  I’m not convinced – I think they pair for at least the summer. If you check the dates on clips, then before May the shots are of solitary critters, in June to Labor day I always see them as pairs. I really don’t know how many Otters are at the Flow. In several videos you can see that the one thats following seems lighter in color and kind of striped.

Where do the Otters go heading up the stream?

Several times the otters have headed up the stream and I haven’t captured footage of them coming back, including after that winter visit.  I have no idea about where they go since there is a small waterfall just upstream on my lot and then there is an under-road culvert and more stream with no obvious link up to other lakes.

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