John Jugovich of Chisholm holds two fishers he trapped in this fall’s recent season for marten and fisher. One is an albino, while the other is the normal color of a fisher.
The albino fisher weighed about 8 pounds, Jugovich said. He trapped it near Buhl on Nov. 28. Jugovich got his limit (two) for fisher, but was unable to catch a pine marten, he said.
Albinism is caused when an animal inherits a trait that interrupts the production of melanin, which gives animals their skin color.
Chris Balzer, Department of Natural Resources area wildlife manager at Cloquet, said any vertebrate animal can have albino traits, although it is rare.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Balzer said. “But I’ve checked a lot of fisher at fur registrations over the years, and I’ve never seen one.”