River otters in Alaska hunt on land and in fresh and salt water eating snails, mussels, clams, sea urchins, insects, crabs, shrimp, octopi, frogs, a variety of fish, and occasionally birds, mammals, and vegetable matter. Aquatic organisms no bigger than a man's finger are usually eaten at the surface of the water, while larger food is taken ashore.
If a fish or other animal is too big to be eaten at one
meal, the remains are abandoned and become available to
other flesh-eating mammals and birds. Scraps left out of
the water may be a significant source of food available to
some scavengers when snow and ice are present.