Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Otters and Angling


Hello there and welcome back to fishing for memories

I was sat thinking today about the very heated subject that is the re-introduction of the otter to rivers,this got me thinking back to when I was a young boy and when I use to frequently see otters on the river Loddon back in the late 80's.

Now it would be folly of me to try to surmise on what kind of impact they are having on certain rivers since their re-introduction.

Especially on rivers like the Ouse where there has been some high profile and well publicised cases of record Barbel being predated by Otter's,but I do feel that there is a lot more to some of the problems troubling our rivers than just the re-introduction of what is an apex predator,to a degree I feel it has been carpet bombed into looking like enemy number one,when it is not the only problem that is now facing many of our great british waterways.

Thinking back to yesteryear I can remember as a boy in the late 1980s seeing a few Otters on the Loddon,back then we did still have a good population of eels in the river and many an evening I would spend time deadbaiting for them,obviously with the decline of the eel populace in most of our rivers,this means when re-introducing such an animal it will thus target other viable food sources,our much loved Barbel being one of these.Now having seen many heated debates and discussions on many angling forums,I have to say I feel we have more than the re-introduction of the otter to blame as a problem with our rivers and stocks,there are many more problems.Where to start?

Over excessive amounts of Signal Crayfish in our river systems,eating small fry and eggs.Cormorants which do as they please readily gorging their way through fish stocks and not a mass cull in sight.

Large populations of escaped Mink as well as the problems with our Eastern European friends taking fish illicitly either by netting or night lines.

I have to sit and wonder with all of the above problems why the Otter has been lined up by some as enemy number one,when in reality re-introduction of this animal may merely be the tip of and addition to much more larger scale problems that face our waterways,food for thought perhaps.

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