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Fisher

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North Dakota Game Species
 
Genus species Martes pennanti
Description Fishers are large members of the weasel family, have a weasel-like physique with a long body, short legs, long bushy tail, pointed nose, and short round ears. Their long fur ranges from brown to nearly black and they often have lighter-colored fur around the face and neck.
Tracks  TrackFront/Rear– 2" L, 2-1/2" W Walking stride: 7" - 11-1/2"
Total Length 35-47 inches
Weight 5-12 pounds
Habitat Fishers prefer forested habitats and in North Dakota are found primarily along wooded riparian streams in the eastern third of the state. Fishers spend most of their time on the ground, but are adept at climbing trees and are known to den in hollow trees and logs.
Breeding Season March-May. Fertilized egg then delays implantation for 10-11 months.
Gestation Period 30 days
Litter Size 1-6 (average 3)
Social Aspects Solitary, except when breeding or rearing young.
Status Fishers appear to be increasing in numbers in eastern North Dakota, but currently there is no season.
Food Habits Fishers are carnivorous and prey on small- to medium-sized mammals, including rabbits, squirrels, mice, voles and shrews. They also eat birds and carrion. Fishers are one of the few effective predators of porcupines.
Fun Facts Unlike their common name suggests, fishers do not commonly eat fish nor do they live in water. Additionally, female fishers mate soon after they give birth to a litter, after which the fertilized egg will delay implantation until 30 days before giving birth the following year. Th erefore, female fishers are in a constant state of pregnancy.