The Elkhorn Slough Otter Cam

Welcome to our Live HD Sea Otter Camera!


Sea otters help our ocean and near shore environments thrive. They are vital in maintaining a delicate balance in the ecosystem. Unfortunately, they are also threatened. Help us advocate for the preservation and success of threatened sea otter populations. Become a valued member of Friends of the Sea Otter and donate to our organization here. We are dedicated to preserving sea otter populations and cannot do this without your help.

What exactly is going on here?

With counts exceeding 100 animals, Elkhorn Slough has the highest concentration of Southern sea otters on the California coast. It is in this estuary habitat that researchers have observed sea otter behavior not seen in other sea otter populations. The Elkhorn Slough Otter Cam (a joint program of Friends of the Sea Otter and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve/Elkhorn Slough Foundation) allows the public to view sea otters in the sheltered channels of the Elkhorn Slough.

The Elkhorn Slough Otter Cam overlooks salt marsh and several tidal creeks that line the sides of the main channel. The Otter Cam is programmed to automatically focus on three different locations where otters have been observed. The otters in these areas tend to be female, and it appears this is a popular area for females with pups. As you watch, you may see these otters grooming themselves or their pups. You may also notice them resting in the water or in the pickleweed on the banks. The otters are most visible during high tides; however, if you are visiting during a time when the otters are out foraging (or perhaps when the camera is being used by one of our researchers), please enjoy some of the video highlights we’ve included on this page.
Due to the camera’s focus on sea otters out in the wild, we never know when sea otters will be in view. Because of that, come back often, especially if you don’t see any sea otters when you visit. Follow us on Twitter @friendsseaotter because we Tweet when we know that there are sea otters in view. And, lastly, check out the pre-recorded footage of sea otters in the videos below.

Due to the ottercam being out in nature, occasionally there are unforeseen technical issues that cause the camera feed to be interrupted. In addition, there may be other technical issues that interrupt the feed. If you come to the site and the camera is down, please be patient and come back and check it periodically. In the meantime, please check out the great pre-recorded videos we have posted at the bottom of this page.

Video Highlights from the Elkhorn Slough Otter Cam

Click Play All to watch a playlist of video highlights recorded directly from our otter cam.

Partnership Information

The Elkhorn Slough Otter Cam is made possible through a partnership of:

Friends of the Sea Otter (FSO) — a not-for-profit advocacy group dedicated to maintaining, increasing, and broadening the current protection for and conservation of sea otters and their habitats.

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR)— managed by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW), ESNERR is one of 28 national reserves funded through a program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Elkhorn Slough Foundation (ESF) — a community non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve and restore the Elkhorn Slough and its watershed.

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