Here is one of the references Phone mentions.
Needs careful reading by would-be otter cullers.http://ec.europa.eu/...SMURF_otter.pdf
and I can't find the "fourth survey" Phone mentions, but here is the latest (the fifth)http://www.environme...l_report(1).pdf
Of course a survey is only as good as the knowledge and effort put into it, but it is still a better starting point than the allegations of unsuccessful and disgruntled anglers.
Just had a read through the references.
I was pleased to see the presence of otters in the High Weald is noted from distribution maps drawn in 1991 and subsequently - in the thirty years before that, I suggest the "absence" is due to the absence of visits by researchers rather than the absence of otters. (they say themselves that the more recent surveys have been more comprehensive)
It bears out what I said in an earlier post - that otters in the High Weald never really went away.
...and the otter's "preferred foods" (when available), seem to be eels, frogs, crayfish, salmonids, percids and lastly cyprinids - in that order - much the same as humans really
(and yes, I've eaten frogs' legs - they are delicious)
Edited by Vagabond, 29 October 2011 - 11:12 AM.