Otters....do you hate them too?

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Post  Andy Macfarlane on Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:07 pm

Just to clarify...I don't hate them at all. I love them in fact. I've noticed on 2 other forums that there's a petition doing the rounds and I just don't get it, especially coming from pikers, who should know what it's like to suffer at the hands of the pro-cull types.

Here's my thoughts...

Well, It's hate-mongering, as per usual. Now that Pike are off the list as blood-thirsty, endlessly hungry, non-discriminant killers of all things aquatic, the anti-anything-predatory division are now setting about seeing the destruction of yet another animal, we as humans, practically wiped off the face of the Earth in the first place.I'm absolutely certain there's an imbalance of Otter numbers in certain parts of the UK but their reintroduction is quite a recent event and like any reintroduction, it takes time for the population to spread out and find some kind of equilibrium but it seems some aren't prepared to give them the chance to do even that.

I'd think most people are glad to know that Otters are back from the brink of destruction but it's yet another case of 'not in our backyard'. As long as Otters are eeking out a living 'elsewhere' there generally isn't a problem. It just so happens that 'elsewhere' is likely to be someone's backyard.

It wasn't so long ago that Mink were rampant on my local river and the fish suffered as a result but Mink aren't a native species, they breed like rabbits and their eating habits are woefully destructive. However, Mink and Otters don't get along and since the larger, native species have increased in number, the lesser, non-native predator has decreased in number and quite considerably too. I know which of the two I'd rather have living in these here parts.

The pike has been let off the hook, quite recently as it happens, due to pressure from in the know anglers and groups like PAC and the scientific community. Now that it's deemed bad practice to net, cull and fling Pike up the bank, it's inevitable that another predator was going to find itself in the firing line. We just can't help ourselves.

I've also noticed that it's mainly Carp owners, farmers, fishery owners and private fish-keepers who are most vocal about this subject. Carp are no more natural to the UK than the Mink, yet they seem to be far more important, having attained almost God-like status throughout the country, yet in other countries, where Carp are equally unnatural, they are regarded as little more than destructive pests. Personally, I'd rather see the back of Carp before I saw the back of a quite beautiful animal that has every right to be here in the first place. The very same could be said for Rainbow Trout and their supporters.

It surprises me that some pikers should have the same level of distain for Otters that was and in some cases still is, directed towards the Pike. It was only very recently that Pike were treated as aquatic vermin and it was the right thing to do, to net them, kill them, discard them and blame them for low fish-stocks, natural or otherwise. We've since learned that Pike are essential for the health of a water and the fish within.

How is that we are so sure that we know the pros and cons of having Otters reintroduced, when we've only recently done a U-turn on widely accepted control methods directed at Pike?


What do you think???....... study
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Post  treble on Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:41 pm

theres nothing more satisfying than spotting a unusual animal while out and about. unusual only because of human hunting.

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Post  noodle on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:16 pm

mr macfarlane that is probably no actually its the best post ive seen over otters, i get quite a bit of disdain from other anglers for being pro otter they (mostly pike anglers as well) cant grasp the fact a native predator should be afforded protection Rolling Eyes while at the same time clamouring for the rights of pike.

should an otter eat a 20 or 30 then so be its part and parcel of fishing if you dont agree to that thought think about the pike eating a 3lb roach etc



i feel we are very much in the minority on this and this could be a massive own goal. picture the papers anglers call for cull on an endangered species. we as anglers who are supposed to understand the role apex predators play should be at the forefront of of this not being so bloody hypocritical and stupid as to oppose any predators that are native

if anything the biggest thing we could do would be encourage wildlife groups that otters are welcome and we can more than happily cohabit the same ecosystems. this works on two fronts
more otters more funding on fisheries
and publicity wise it is a huge boost 'anglers welcome predator that eats their quarry) do the same for ospreys etc and we could reap the rewards


sadly narrow minds will prevail i fear
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Post  noodle on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:23 pm

i tried keepin carp out of that but vermin is an understatement if it wasnt for bloody fish huggers we would still have the freedom to move fish for bait and nowhere near as many patently stupid rules governing us
or the rape and destruction of natural waters to turn them into mud puddles fit only to rot high protien baits in

now i dont have anything against mixed fisheries that have carp in take the local water carr mill dam its a great silver fish venue the matchmen love it there is a good head of carp in there too its just a shame the pike dont grow much beyond doubles or i would claim it to be one of the finest mixed fisheries inthe north of england (which it is provinding you dont want decent pike)
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Post  Andy Macfarlane on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:29 pm

I don't dislike Carp but what you've said about the destruction of naturalised waters for the purpose of creating carp fisheries is very true.

If I have to defend my corner elsewhere I hope you won't mind me making your point. It's very valid.
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Post  Eric Edwards on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:31 pm

Plus one here Poach, and very eloquently put if I may say so. Your thoughts echo my own exactly, we can't spend 35 years telling people how important it is to have an apex predator governing our ecosystems and then turn about face when another one arrives.
Otters aren't the problem, carp are. It's the interaction between the native otter which has lived in this country for 12,000 years and the exotic carp which aren't native to anywhere in the world that is causing the problem. The carp stocked in this country have been subject to selective breeding for nigh on a thousand years and this has produced creatures that are fat, slow, scaleless and easy prey for any predator. The absurd stocking levels we've seen in the last four decades have resulted in a waterscape dominated by these unnatural things and now a natural creature is taking advantage. This is a blip in the grand scheme of things, nothing more. Otters will re-establish their former territories and they will, in time, eliminate the foreigners where they are not fenced off. Then we'll get our fisheries back with natural creatures like tench, chub, roach and pike back in the numbers they once were. I'm only sorry I'm too old to see the end result.
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Post  noodle on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:34 pm

Andy Macfarlane wrote:I don't dislike Carp but what you've said about the destruction of naturalised waters for the purpose of creating carp fisheries is very true.

If I have to defend my corner elsewhere I hope you won't mind me making your point. It's very valid.

feel free
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Post  noodle on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:37 pm

well thats three of us
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Post  tomthepiker on Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:34 am

I don't like otters just because there eating my 20lb pike goal Sad
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Post  rozzo on Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:27 am

is it possible to teach otters to eat cormorants,, now theres a blinkin pest Twisted Evil
but there again we were masters of our own destiny,, over fishing the seas until the cormorants had to move inland to find food. and once they got here they liked it Shocked
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Post  noodle on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:14 am

tomthepiker wrote:I don't like otters just because there eating my 20lb pike goal Sad

which eat the roach enthusiasts 2 and 3 lbers Rolling Eyes which in turn eats the entemologists quarry

its part and parcel of aquatic life
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Post  tomthepiker on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:29 am

I know I'm only kidding, the otters have more rights than us to be on the water I just want a twenty!! Haha
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Post  Idlepiker on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:38 am

I'd like nothing more than to see an otter while i'm fishing the rivers, apart from my first 30. lol.
Think i've got more chance to see the otter Very Happy
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Post  onetoner on Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:55 pm

ive seen an otter on my local river and loch that i fish and i have to say it put a smile on my face.
i think there majestic creatures it took me a few minutes to figure out what it was , i was kinda looking in dissbelief asking myself "is it an otter or not" ,,,, i watched it for about thirty seconds or so before it spotted me and vanished...
but i have to say i was very very surprised to see one on my local loch which is a public park and is very busy with joggers, dog walkers, rowing clubs etc , this animal i watched for a good ten minutes swimming amongst the jettys and up and down the bank,,,,, maybe i just presumed they avoided humans Question Question
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Post  Rich_ on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:00 pm

They are also said to be very nocturnal when you watch wildlife programmes, but all the ones i've seen have been during the morning and afternoon and they seemed always to be aware of my presence. There was once a couple of them catching eels and they were coming close enough to the boat for me to get a photo.

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Post  stubbo on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:04 pm

i wonder when they get as numerous as cormerants will they be as welcome........watch this space Suspect
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Post  Eric Edwards on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:12 pm

Cormorants are a social creature, living together, fishing together and sharing the same space generally. Otters are more solitary, they will fight to the death over territory. They will never be as much of a problem as cormorants.
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Post  stubbo on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:19 pm

Eric Edwards wrote:Cormorants are a social creature, living together, fishing together and sharing the same space generally. Otters are more solitary, they will fight to the death over territory. They will never be as much of a problem as cormorants.
hope so eric
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Post  welsh piker on Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:17 am

Well, first weldone for posting this... Otters are the talk of the town at the moment.. Exclamation Exclamation ...

It's a bit like Marmite... you either love'em Smile , or Hate'em.. Mad

I know of one area, where Otters are thriving,, Also there are Cormorants, also in big numbers,,, It's not a massive lake, but fish are there in numbers, but i know that ths won't be the case for long......

So, here i my question.... nature as a balance, but will here be an un-balance with such fish eaters in one area.... Question Question Question ..

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Post  noodle on Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:18 am

welsh piker wrote:Well, first weldone for posting this... Otters are the talk of the town at the moment.. Exclamation Exclamation ...

It's a bit like Marmite... you either love'em Smile , or Hate'em.. Mad

I know of one area, where Otters are thriving,, Also there are Cormorants, also in big numbers,,, It's not a massive lake, but fish are there in numbers, but i know that ths won't be the case for long......

So, here i my question.... nature as a balance, but will here be an un-balance with such fish eaters in one area.... Question Question Question ..


you have already answered your own question


balance will be found and a beneficial one it will be trust me on that we need predators to achieve better fishing look at years gone by how good pike fishing was with otters all over the place (please forgive iffy spelling and grammer half cut being worried about surgery later in the week)
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Post  treble on Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:13 pm

prefer a beaver myself Laughing

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Post  Andy Macfarlane on Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:39 pm

treble wrote:prefer a beaver myself Laughing

They DO need controlling.
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Post  welsh piker on Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:13 pm

interesting article..... Enviroment Agency taken to court over Carp eating Otters....Entire stock worth £250,000 was eatern. Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation .

This legal Action is being regarded as a land-mark case...

Be interesting to see the out-come.....
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Post  Eric Edwards on Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:43 pm

Yes I've seen that, although how they intend to win anything from it is a mystery to me. The EA didn't introduce any otters to anywhere, it was Natural England and the Otter Trust. Moreover proving that a released otter was responsible over a wild bred one is quite impossible.

I say again, carp are the problem not otters. They are easy meat for any large predator because they are no longer wild animals.
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Post  Wigs55 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:29 pm

I love them and love to see them. So they eat a few fish, they always have and they always will, thats what they eat. Kingfishers eat hundreds of fish that could grow up to be specimens, i like them to.
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