Home range typically is linear; 20-30 miles for a pair or male; less for females with young (Jackson 1961). May hunt over as much as 80-100 km of stream during the course of one year. In coastal Alaska, summer home range size averaged around 20 km of shoreline in males, 10 km in females, with ranges twice as large in oiled areas (Bowyer et al. 1995).
Population density of one per 2.2 miles has been recorded (Baker 1983). Density was estimated at one otter per 86 ha of coastal marsh in Louisiana (Shirley et al. 1988). In Idaho, density was one family group and 1-3 subadults or nonbreeding adults per 15 km of waterway, plus one breeding adult male for each 20-30 km of waterway (see Toweill and Tabor 1982). Density in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska was 0.30-0.85 otters/km of shoreline (Testa et al. 1994, Bowyer et al. 1995).