Mink: Have You Ever Seen One in the Wild?


Mink seen yesterday near the Humboldt/Mendocino County Line. [Photo by Talia Rose]

Who’s seen a mink running wild in our area? Many old-timers, including myself, have never even caught a glimpse mainly because the lithe brown animals are usually nocturnal. Talia Rose, who runs County Line Wild, a Facebook page devoted to images of wildlife she encounters near the border of Humboldt and Mendocino, captured this beauty yesterday with her camera.

She described her encounter to her readers:

Boy was I surprised when it came out of the rocks just thirty feet in front of me, disappeared, and reappeared just ten feet in front of me! All of my six Mink encounters before this, the Mink has been traveling fast along the river’s edge on the opposite side of the river. Today it was fishing off the rocks right in front of me, diving over and over into the water and swimming deep. We spent several hours together, with twenty minute lulls, as it hid in the rocks, only to reappear again and dive in. This MInk was so tiny!!! So cute! What an amazing and magical encounter!

Have you snapped a photo of rarely seen local wildlife? Upload it into the comment section to share with us please and, if you have another minute, tell us roughly where you saw it and when.



  • Seen a family group of about 4or5 in hoopa bluffs

  • So cool, haven’t see one. Did see ring tail cat on Hwy 36 in middle of night. Driving so no pic

  • Saw one up on tbw Salmon River near Somes Bar once… Moving fast, chocolate brown..

  • Seen one crossing Glendale just east of Fieldbrook Rd. some years ago. Have also seen Fishers in that same vicinity more recently.

  • I think this is a juvenile coastal giant salamander at Mad River, but I’m not entirely sure.

    • I think you are right. They are supposedly common but I’ve only seen a couple in my life.

    • I saw a full grown one a few years ago. It scared the crap outa me. Blue spots, huge eyes, at least a foot long. Boo!

      • Last year in my yard I was also surprised by a foot long salamander in my yard at Shelter Cove, it pranced at a leisurely pace in front of me checking me out with his large buggy eyes. I went for my camera but when I returned it was gone. The next day I found a smaller one (~8 inches) under some leaves.

  • We saw a mink at the Arcata Marsh a couple of weeks ago.

  • I love them, and they look much better fishing then on someone shoulder!

  • There is one that hangs out at fish lake. I got to hang out with it all summer. Nezt summer i will snap a pic

  • This giant Pacific salamander (7inches long) was crossing our driveway in a rain storm last October. It was very near a year-round stream. I have seen one years ago in our spring box and when I looked it up in my amphibian guide there was a warning that they have razor sharp teeth!

  • I found a ring tail cat roadkill more than 25 years ago. I was with my girlfriend at the time who stopped for all roadkill to take them off the road and/or to offer prayers, which is amazing experience. We thought it would be a raccoon. But no, it was a ringtail. Wow.

  • I have never seen a mink here but i have seen a weasel once. I saw a kangaroo mouse one night in indian
    valley ( long tail with a fluff of fur on the end ) I didn’t think they were this far north.

  • Incredible! Thank you for sharing.

  • Years ago, I saw a family of Mink along the river bank out at Sandy Bar on the South Fork of the Trinity while working at a Fish Weir (Trap) for then the California Dept. Of Fish and Game.

  • Beautiful photo and great mink story. A few others mentioned ring tail cats – one slept behind an upright sheet of plywood on my porch every day for a couple of weeks. Also, thirty or forty years ago, late at night, I saw a badger walking down Lower Thomas road – Salmon Creek; the only one I’ve ever seen.

  • I recently saw a badger running away from me through a field up by bridgeville. I never knew they lived around here: crazy! Also saw a huge mountain lion crossing the road in carlotta a few weeks ago. On my game camera I’ve seen an elk, a mountain lion, bear, and lots of turkey, deer, and fox up hwy 36.

  • About 5 yr ago Saw a mink during daytime climbing up onto the bridge leading to the fishing access road on the north side of Redwood Creek west of Orick. Was really surprised, didn’t know we had mink here.

  • Saw a beaver once in Dos Rios.

  • Cabin in the woods

    This was at least 35 years ago……
    I grew up out near the Freshwater area where the forest was my backyard. My friends & I were tromping up a flooded creek wash one rainy Humboldt afternoon when we spotted an animal caught in a trapper’s snare.
    My friend threw his sweatshirt over the animal & I was able to set it free from the snare. It’s rear leg had been badly injured from the trap, but it was much too wild to treat. We were happy that it ran off back into the ferns. Animals are very tough. We at least gave it a fighting chance.
    We later found out the identity of the trapper. It wasn’t a secret when you have a yard full of hounds.
    Piece of trash wasn’t even trapping for food. He just wanted the pelt. Asshole!

    I’m pretty sure it was a mink & not an otter. It was the only time I’ve ever seen one.

  • Never seen one. Been hunting and hiking my whole life. Seen many giant salamanders, mountain lions,bobcats,etc. Minks are Extremely rare around here

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    Another excellent Talia Rose photo. Never have seen a wild mink. Weasels, otters, cougar, bobcat but no mink. Ringtail, maybe.

  • Had two ringtails move into an old cabin and set up house. They were Really annoid with me disturbing them.
    It took me four days to live trap both of them so I could relocate them together someplace other then the cabin. Really special little creatures with thumbs and very intelligent eyes. I still see them every now and then. I’ve also seen little weasels while rafting on the Trinity river 2yr ago and a beaver about 15 yr ago out towards southern Trinity

  • I thought it was a fisher cat I’ve seen one twice this year by my compose pile

  • I saw bigfoot rhree times up indian creek

  • lorrie neuenfeldt

    I believe they are called fishers and are of the mink family. Rare to see them. I have seen them about 3 times in lifetime.

  • Kym share this photo A king snake eating a gardener snake under the porch in Willow creek

  • In the eighties, I lived in rural Mckinleyville. Some of my eggs and baby chicks were getting eaten by an unknown critter. I waited up for many nights with my 22 to catch the unknown night marauders. I shot the two mink as they entered the coop. I was not sure what they were. I consulted my elderly ,rancher neighbors . Mink!To my surprise they told me that in the 1940’s there was a mink ranch on Dows Prairie Road. Some escaped or were turned loose when they shut down the operation. Their pelts were beautiful, but alas, not enough to make a stole.

  • unbridled phillistine

    Seen a Fisher in Ferndale awhile back.

  • I live on the upper Sacramento River below Dunsmuir,I have seen one twice over the years along the river,a few ring tails also

  • Seen: ringtail in a tree. Kangaroo mouse hopping up the road ahead of the car. Flying squirrels (yes, we have ’em, they’re nocturnal). Porcupine, otter, scorpion. I like those little blue-tailed skinks….Phoenix Moth-comes out in the day, hovers like a hummingbird and has a super long tongue for nectar extraction….never saw a mink, though.

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