The case for culling Otters

Paul Boote

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East Anglia, you say?

I blame on it on all the eight to twelve fingers and webbed feet, you know....
 

chub_on_the_block

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I would rather see something done about Cormorants first. I dont believe they belong inland - certainly not in the numbers that are found now. Their impact on roach, rudd and other fish can be immense.

Otters do belong here - in many river systems. It would be hard to justify actions on otters to protect some trophy fish like double-figure barbel or porky pig carp that are not naturally a part of the river catchments in many areas. Its easy to imagine how barbel were not in some of our smaller rivers when otters were widespread and abundant (going back a few centuries probably) - they would have been eaten to extinction.

Allowing or promoting the return of otters to their ancient distributions appears to be a goal of society and will have repercussions on trophy fish in smaller rivers especially. I fear for waters like the Ivel and Wensum - the EA may be wasting their time restocking with barbel on one hand while promoting otters on the other.
 
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Paul Boote

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Its easy to imagine how barbel were not in some of our smaller rivers when otters were widespread and abundant (going back a few centuries probably) - they would have been eaten to extinction.

They would have been in the smaller rivers but only for a short time, chub - during the spawning season: get up there, do your stuff, get back down to the main river. Seen this with barbel in Europe and, particularly, in India, with their close relatives, the mahseer.

Small streams were primarily nursery streams, with larger fish (not just barbel, but fish like sea-trout and salmon, too) only entering them to breed (and entering them late, at the last minute), having learned over thousands of years of a totally wild existence that attack from the air or in the water would follow if they hung around. Same with the trout in many smaller (and larger) western United States rivers today - present but very careful about just where they lie, looking for depth, "structure" (snags and treefall), aerial cover and surface disturbance to protect them from aerial and aquatic attack.
 
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itsfishingnotcatching

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I wait with bated breath. This could be as good for angling as the proposed shooting of Keith the seal:eek:mg:

PS A mate spotted Keith at Tewksbury on the Severn, thought it was a drowning dog and tried to catch it on a big spinner. Thought the "dog" had drowned but Keith scared the sh1t out of him when surfacing just off his rod tip!
 

mick b

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There is no case whatsoever for culling Otters.
Whoever thinks otherwise needs to face facts.
Otters are here to stay and the overfed fisheries need to install their own fences, cut down their stocks of fish or face predation by a legally protected species.

Throughout Europe Otters are strictly protected (anglers also 'crop' the fish) and their fishing doesn't seem to suffer so perhaps our European partners can teach US something?

I would support a controlled cull of Cormorants however and the sooner the better!

.
 

Paul Boote

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One for the late Steve Jump of Badlands:

I met her on the strip three years ago
In a Camaro with this dude from L.A.
I blew that Camaro off my back and drove that little girl away
But now there's wrinkles around my baby's eyes
And she cries herself to sleep at night
When I come home the house is dark
She sighs "Baby did you make it all right"
She sits on the porch of her daddy's house
But all her pretty dreams are torn
She stares off alone into the night
With the eyes of one who hates for just being born
For all the shut-down strangers and hot rod angels
Rumbling through this promised land
Tonight my baby and me we're gonna ride to the sea
And wash these sins off our hands
Tonight tonight the highway's bright
Out of our way mister you best keep
`Cause summer's here and the time is right
We're goin' racin' in the street
 
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elliottwaters

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There is no case whatsoever for culling Otters.
Whoever thinks otherwise needs to face facts.
Otters are here to stay and the overfed fisheries need to install their own fences, cut down their stocks of fish or face predation by a legally protected species.

Throughout Europe Otters are strictly protected (anglers also 'crop' the fish) and their fishing doesn't seem to suffer so perhaps our European partners can teach US something?

I would support a controlled cull of Cormorants however and the sooner the better!

.
Well said.

I’d sooner the EA spent my licence fees and taxpayers money on dealing with cormorants, mink, pollution and water abstraction which in my view are a far bigger threat to our sport than otters.

On a general level, otters were here long before over stocked carp puddles and before barbel began to be stocked in rivers (and now still waters) that were never their natural habitat.

For me at any rate, fishing is about more than catching fish, its enjoying the natural world and taking a delight in the creatures than inhabit it.
 

flightliner

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Leaving the "shall we shan't we" argument to one side for a moment, both Otters and mink are viscious little killers.
 

mick b

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Leaving the "shall we shan't we" argument to one side for a moment, both Otters and mink are viscious little killers.
"Viscious (sic) little killers"

Why use such emotive and completely ridiculous words?

An Otter kills for food, not for 'sport', that's something reserved for us humans.
Even when contesting a territory a male Otter will only bite its opponent in a manner that disables its penis, it doesn't kill it viciously or otherwise even though it could.
The North American Mink is genetically programmed to kill and store prey items for the long freezing winters of its native homeland, the reason why they kill more than they can eat in late autumn and winter.
Both species kill their prey cleanly and effectively using as direct a method as possible.

Neither species is 'vicious' unless threatened, unlike the today's youth who seem to delight in 'sticking the boot' into the face of a helpless or unconscious individual, now that IS vicious!
.
.
 

richiekelly

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"Viscious (sic) little killers"

Why use such emotive and completely ridiculous words?

An Otter kills for food, not for 'sport', that's something reserved for us humans.
Even when contesting a territory a male Otter will only bite its opponent in a manner that disables its penis, it doesn't kill it viciously or otherwise even though it could.
The North American Mink is genetically programmed to kill and store prey items for the long freezing winters of its native homeland, the reason why they kill more than they can eat in late autumn and winter.
Both species kill their prey cleanly and effectively using as direct a method as possible.

Neither species is 'vicious' unless threatened, unlike the today's youth who seem to delight in 'sticking the boot' into the face of a helpless or unconscious individual, now that IS vicious!
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Sorry but that is just not correct, if they only kill for food why is it that they will kill and eat a very small part of the kill only to leave the rest of the kill to rot?

The problem with otters has not been caused by the otters themselves more by interference from do gooders who had no thought as to the concequencies of their actions.

Otter populations were recovering quite nicely ON THEIR OWN and would have continued doing so without interference and within the confines of what the ecology could stand, the situation now is false caused by humans and should be corrected by humans.
 

mick b

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Sorry but that is just not correct, if they only kill for food why is it that they will kill and eat a very small part of the kill only to leave the rest of the kill to rot?

The problem with otters has not been caused by the otters themselves more by interference from do gooders who had no thought as to the concequencies of their actions.

Otter populations were recovering quite nicely ON THEIR OWN and would have continued doing so without interference and within the confines of what the ecology could stand, the situation now is false caused by humans and should be corrected by humans.
I am correct.
The Otter kills its prey and eats the part it requires to satisfy it requirements, humans also do the same, but a shark will eat everything.
The fact that an Otter likes freshly killed food rather than old or rotting is not exclusive to Otters.

It is a scientific fact that Otter populations were NOT recovering 'quite nicely' (whatever that is meant to mean) on their own, there were small isolated groups but these were small and a recovery through the natural process was impossible.

You say that Ecology would have limited the natural spread of Otters to within the confines of what it can stand.
Well if that is the case then we can expect Otters to die out in those areas where the Ecology cannot support their presence, and you will have nothing to worry about :confused:

The situation is not false, unlike fisheries so overstocked that if anglers stopped fishing them the fish would die of starvation.

.
 
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sam vimes

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An Otter kills for food, not for 'sport', that's something reserved for us humans.
Much as I'm not a cull advocate, I've read plenty that suggests that otters do kill for reasons other than nourishment. It's certainly not true that man is the only killer that does so for reasons other than food. Cats and foxes have been filmed killing, toying with victims, playing with corpses and not taking a single mouthful. That may not be for the human construct reason of "sport", but it isn't for food either.
 
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