2023 WVSSAC Baseball Tournament Watch | Listen

Wildlife Center Adds Fisher Display


Among the more elusive critters you’ll find in the vast outdoors of the Mountain State is the fisher.   Although their numbers are growing, it’s unlikely many have ever seen a fisher in the wild.

"I’ve lived in this state my entire life and I’ve only seen one…. and it was a road kill,” said Rob Silvester, Manager of the West Virginia Wildlife Center at French Creek.

The reclusive nature of the indigenous creature to West Virginia makes the new fisher display at French Creek an even greater attraction.

"One of the things we like to do here is put on display animals that you wouldn’t commonly see when you’re out walking in the woods of West Virginia,” said Silvester. "Everybody sees deer, everybody sees turkey and we have them on display here.  But species like the fisher and bear that you wouldn’t commonly see are what we like to have on display."

The Wildlife Center has added a new fisher exhibit for 2008 at the Upshur

The elusive fisher is abundant, but rarely seen in West Virginia –photos WV DNR

County facility.   The animals were procured from a captive facility in Wisconsin.   Once common to the mountain state, fishers were all but eliminated in West Virginia by the timbering practices of the mid 20th century when most suitable habitat was destroyed.  The DNR reintroduced the species in the 1970’s in the high mountain counties. Today their numbers are on the rise.

"We’ve had a trapping season on these things for years, but nobody ever caught one," explained Silvester. "But now you’re starting to see them show up in trapping records as their numbers increase."

The fisher’s name is a misnomer. They rarely prey on fish, but rather feast on small mammals.   The fisher holds the odd distinction of being the number one predator of porcupines.  Certainly fishers found in West Virginia are unlikely to be dodging quills since the porcupine isn’t a native West Virginia species, but they will put a hurting on ground moles, field mice, and other small critters. 

As you can probably imagine, any animal willing to take on a sharp-quilled porcupine, and generally win the battle, carries a rather bitter disposition.  They are more aggressive than most other animals of their species family.   They’re often mistaken for wolverines or badgers.  They thrive in coniferous forest environments, but can also exist in highland marsh and bog areas.  

The two fishers recently added to the Wildlife Center’s lineup can be viewed daily.  The center is located on Route 20 south of Buckhannon and is open year-round.


More Outdoors

DNR Police ready for start of boating weekend
Memorial Day weekend typically kicks off the pleasure boating season, officers will be looking for break downs and violations on the waters of the Mountain State.
May 25, 2023 - 2:29 pm
Hunting is a family affair for the Shell family in Wyoming County
Buford and Lena Shell and their 11 year old son Levi all tag out during the spring gobbler season, for the second time in three years.
May 22, 2023 - 2:34 pm
Smallmouth hunting on Lake Erie
Just a few hours drive north of West Virginia, Lake Erie can be a smallmouth bass fishing paradise during the spring months
May 19, 2023 - 5:34 am
Scott wins Lake Ontario fishing derby
A vacation fishing trip to Lake Ontario turned into a money maker for WV DNR's Mark Scott
May 18, 2023 - 10:27 am

Your Comments