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Otter friend or foe


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#21 Rusty

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:30 AM

*Attempt at a sensible post alert*

I think itís too early to say whether otters are friend or foe. Theyíre an indigineous species so itís difficult to argue that the success of their re-introduction is a bad thing particularly if itís an indication of the state of our rivers. But times and our environment have changed since otters last thrived, angling practices and expectations have changed too so it might be that although the otter is just doing what it normally does thereís less Ďspaceí for us to co-exist and so weíre less tolerant.

When did the otter decline start, 60 years ago? At that time would a half eaten barbel on the bank have been as significant as it is now? I doubt many commercial carp fisheries were around then so that particular buffet table didnít exist, there wasn't a problem.

We need to wait and see if things balance out (if there's an imbalance now), they may not in our lifetime.

Edited by Rusty, 28 October 2011 - 08:31 AM.

It's never a 'six', let's put it back

#22 Dales

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:32 AM

Otters naturally belong here. Any sort of fishing which relies upon the absence of otters does not naturally belong here. It's a pretty poor angler who is only interested in fake fishing.

There will be no cull of otters. If it comes down to angling or otters, it is angling which will go. Calling for a cull is the most stupid bit of public relations imaginable, it achieves nothing and makes us look terrible.



Very well put Steve.

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#23 Vagabond

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:36 AM

When did the otter decline start, 60 years ago?


ie, from 1950. I was a trout-fishing teenager then. My trout streams held plenty of trout, and more to the point, plenty of eels which is the otter's preferred food. The apex predator as far as the trout were concerned was me! The apex predator from the otter's point of view was the local otter hunt.

Much of the "decline" was due to habitat loss. Degradation of our rivers, due to urbanisation and intensive farming..

As far as the Ashdown Forest and rest of the High Weald were concerned, we were above that (altitude-wise rather than morally :) ) so there was no habitat loss, and the trout, the eels and the otter have never really gone away.

..and as I said earlier, I have fished (and caught fish) in many westward flowing rivers for seatrout and salmon - all have a healthy population of otters.

It is interesting that Worms has no trouble in catching fish from the Teme, yet "all other stretches have been ravaged by otters - with half-eaten barbel corpses strewn for all to see".

Of course, Worms might be an "otter whisperer" and trained otters to leave his stretches alone. :)

Nobody yet has dared suggest angling ability might be a factor. <_< <_<


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#24 Anderoo

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:52 AM

I've lost count of the number of times I hear the Oxfordshire rivers have been 'decimated' by otters. I can only assume that either those people have never fished them, or they're just not very good ;)
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

#25 Renrag39

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:14 AM

Love it when people say 'decimated'. http://en.wikipedia....on_(Roman_army)

The Otter does seem to be a good vent for those who haven't caught... However i wouldn't dare to question anyones Angling skill or lack of...
I mean, I wander up and down the banks 'crashing through undergrowth' and 'noisily thrashing gaudy lures through other peoples swims' and I STILL manage to catch. Despite my lack of finesse...

Born lucky I reckon ;) :rolleyes:

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#26 Tigger

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:38 AM

Much of the "decline" was due to habitat loss. Degradation of our rivers, due to urbanisation and intensive farming..



Strange Dave, your one of a few people I know of except for myself and people who hunt that has actually tried to point that out. Most people who simply don't like hunting blame it on the hunting brigade and their hounds. Truth be known, as you say, pollution, urbanisation etc was by far the biggest killer of otters.
Hunting otters with dogs was probably at the bottom of the list when it came to the downfall of the otter and would most likely never have made any impression on their numbers.

#27 Sportsman

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:53 AM

Hunting otter with hounds has been practised in the UK for hundreds of years (an otter hunt is described by Izaak Walton in the Compleate Angler)
The decline of the otter from the 1950s to the 70s was caused by the factors mentioned but principally by the use of organochlorine pesticides such as Dieldrin. This builds up through the food chain and affects the apex predators, ie otters and birds of prey
After it's use was discontinued in the 70s the birds of prey recovered quite quickly but the otter didn't so some limited restocking took place, mostly in East Anglia and Yorkshire. There has been no restocking since 1999.

To say that the otter hunts "wiped them out" is just ill informed nonsense.
The decline in numbers was first reported by the hunts and they stopped hunting voluntarily long before any ban came into force.

Let's agree to respect each others views, no matter how wrong yours may be.

 

 

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#28 Steve Walker

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:56 AM

I'd like to say that it surprises me that people don't know what caused the decline in otters, or why their population is now naturally recovering. But it doesn't surprise me at all.

"By the 1970s, otters were restricted mainly to Scotland, especially the islands and the north-west coast, western Wales, parts of East Anglia and the West Country (though they remained common and widespread also in Ireland). This decline was caused by organo-chlorine pesticides. Since these were withdrawn from use, otters have been spreading back into many areas, especially in northern and western England."

http://www.mammal.or...=...tent&id=231

That's interesting, isn't it;

"though they remained common and widespread also in Ireland"

That Ireland, well known for its rubbish fishing back when there were few otters in England...

#29 Phone

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 01:05 PM

Teme,

Yes, commercials(?), are you being derogatory of those fine establishments merit or reputation? In fact, I probably dropped a couple thousand of those "toruist" dollars, once at Redmier even though it was fished by invite. I rather like the "pay puddles". As a critic, when was the last time you fished one? You have a pretty long list of "critical issues" don't you. Are we doing anything right in the angling community that you can think of right off hand?

I've been reading. Your position, while loud and disconnected, is not well supported in England. It appears as though you are just an agitator and heckler of "an already done deal" widely accepted in the sporting community.

All,

As for the otter - I'd like to change the subject. I have a lot of empthay for The Greater Mouse-Eared Bat. Any chance it is on the mend on England? Without it, since the 1990's, I've noticed you have a lot more bugs.

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#30 Vagabond

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 02:51 PM

I'd like to change the subject The Greater Mouse-Eared Bat. Any chance it is on the mend on England?


Not to my knowlege, but for several years we used to spend a fortnight every year in an old converted church in Scotland, We booked it for the adjacent salmon fishing which came with the letting. In the old belfry was a colony of Long-eared Bats Plecotus auritis which we enjoyed watching at dusk.

As far as I know they did not prey upon the salmon :lol:


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World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .
Certhia's world species - 215
Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato
...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...