Fisher

Martes pennanti

The fisher is a member of the weasel family. It has a long, slim body with short legs, rounded ears, and a bushy tail. It is agile and swift and is an excellent climber.

fisher picture


Length 3 feet (including 15 inch tail)
Weight 12 lbs (males); 8 lbs (females)

Lifespan about 7 years

Diet

Snowshoe hares, rabbits, rodents and birds, and are one of the few specialized predators of porcupines. Fishers are aggressive hunters.
Also known to eat insects, nuts, and berries when prey is not available. Despite their name, they do not hunt fish.

Population

Fishers are common in the northeast and Midwest, but rare in the northwest.  There is currently no data on their abundance in the Rocky Mountains but as few as 500 may remain.

Range

The fisher is found only in North America. Historically, it ranged the northern forests of Canada and the United States as well as forests in the Appalachian and Pacific Coast Mountains. Today, fishers are found in parts of their historic range. In the U.S., they exist in portions of the Appalachian Mountains from New England south to Tennessee; northern Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan’s upper peninsula; northern Idaho and western Montana; and as far south as northern California along the west coast. Reintroductions have led to their reoccupation of former habitats in Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Nova Scotia, Vermont, West Virginia, Maine, Manitoba, Minnesota, New York, Ontario and Tennessee.

Behavior

Fishers prefer large areas of dense mature coniferous or mixed forest and are solitary animals. They are mainly nocturnal, but may be active during the day. They travel many miles along ridges in search of prey, seeking shelter in hollow trees, logs, rock crevices, and dens of other animals.

Reproduction
Mating Season
 April
Gestation Egg implantation is delayed till February or March of the next year, following which is a 30-day gestation period.
Litter Size 1-4 kits
The kits remain with their mother until the fall.