Distinguished river creatures call it home.
And to one struggling Hellbender species, their only home.
North American River Otter
The river otter, once common throughout the United States, began to decline in the mid 1880s. They became rare by the early 1900s and were extinct in Indiana by 1921. Wild caught otters from Louisiana were successfully reintroduced into Blue River in 1999.
Though rarely seen in the wild, a trained eye can often detect their presence. Landings, areas of flattened vegetation on a bank, are used by river otters for rolling and grooming.
Hellbenders are North America’s largest salamander and the world’s second largest. Blue River is their only known habitat in Indiana. The high oxygen levels of the river make it an ideal environment for hellbenders and other aquatic wildlife. A hellbender’s diet is limited to crayfish and they can live to be an amazing 29 years old.
Herons and egrets are expert fishermen. They stand like statues in the water until their keen eyes discover a fish swimming by. Then, at exactly the right instant, with one sudden jab of the bill, they seize their prey.
Sometimes they stalk slowly through the shallow water, lifting each foot clear and setting it down again so gently that no ripple warns the fish or frog.