Their appearance is no accident. In 1988, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection bought a bunch of live-trapped fishers from upper New England, and released them in western Connecticut. The aim was to restore an animal that had once been native to the state, but had been driven away by the agricultural deforestation and perhaps overtrapping. Today, fishers are found throughout the state and are doing so well, licensed trapping is allowed in the fall.
While fishers don’t fish – or even eat fish, they do love a tasty porcupine. That thorny fare is in rather short supply, however, so they have turned to a more abundant mammal for food: The squirrel.
In fact, in northern Vermont and New Hampshire, where the fisher was never extirpated, squirrels are much less common than they are here. The natives say it’s because the fishers keep them under control – good news for anyone who’s ever had squirrels invade their home.