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Southern Broads - Any trouble with otters?


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Hi there

On a fishing forum someone was commenting on a problem with an otter release program in the area of the Wensum (?) a few years ago and the problems this has caused with the fish stocks in the area.

Is anyone aware of this or was it just a blip?

John

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have seen Otters on virtually every river in Norfolk and to all intents and purposes they don't appear to be doing a lot of harm to fish stocks, except in areas like the upper Bure which was already sparsely populated by fish and now seems to be virtually void of them for long stretches of the river, which is more than a damned shame. 

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Looking into this further there appears to be a correlation between otter numbers and fishing stock.

Otters are territorial and cover areas between 5 – 21 miles depending on fish stock available.

Therefore the greater the number of otters in any one area the greater the stocks of fish in that area with the reverse being true.

Whether this generalisation can be applied to the Broads though is uncertain. Have they always been here? Or is their reappearance only recent?

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I forgot about the fisheries. I've read elsewhere that otters are a real problem for the commerical fisheries in the South West. I'm not aware of any problems in my part of the world - yet!

 

The attached link to Natural england re. otterproofing commerical fisheries makes good reading :shocked (might have to cut and paste it into your search engine.)

 

 
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Nature finds equilibrium. Man hunted otters to near extinction on the broads, then fish levels rose because of mans meddling, happy times for those that fish.

Man has acted again helping the otters return, there is lots of otter food hence how there numbers are so high, left alone their numbers will fall to the natural balance as the food levels return to where nature wants them to be.

This however is not necessarily good news for the fisher folk but one has to argue that man catching fish for leisure/sport is probably not of much concern to mother nature  

 

Otters can be removed from private fishing lakes so that fish numbers can flourish and fishermen will have more joy there.

 

I could also argue that there would be less goose sh*t everywhere if they were left to find their own food instead people thinking they need to feed the birds!  

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Nature finds equilibrium. Man hunted otters to near extinction on the broads, then fish levels rose because of mans meddling, happy times for those that fish.

Man has acted again helping the otters return, there is lots of otter food hence how there numbers are so high, left alone their numbers will fall to the natural balance as the food levels return to where nature wants them to be.

This however is not necessarily good news for the fisher folk but one has to argue that man catching fish for leisure/sport is probably not of much concern to mother nature  

 

Otters can be removed from private fishing lakes so that fish numbers can flourish and fishermen will have more joy there.

 

I could also argue that there would be less goose sh*t everywhere if they were left to find their own food instead people thinking they need to feed the birds!  

MBA are you sure you hav'nt been on the NBA? :naughty:

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  • 1 year later...

I have seen otters on the Bure, in Surlingham Broad and on the Yare down river from Bramerton.

 

Also seen the videos of some boat owners in Brundall who caught them eating their dinner on the swim platforms.

 

Do they decimate the fish stocks in a river? Who really knows for sure. Any reduction in fish stocks could be caused by all sorts of things - cormorants, pollution etc.

 

One thing about Otters is they tend to go for larger fish and will kill them only to eat a small part of them.

 

Not sure it's good news if your worried about otters taking over, but recent research indicates they are not breeding as well due to a reduction in their penis size caused by pollution - who got that job I have no idea and who linked pollution to this god only knows. 

 

What I have noticed is a massive increase in the last 2yrs of signal crayfish in a part of the upper Wensum I fish. Last time I fished it a dead bait came out after 10 mins with 5 crayfish hanging onto it. Now they are a pain.

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What I have noticed is a massive increase in the last 2yrs of signal crayfish in a part of the upper Wensum I fish. Last time I fished it a dead bait came out after 10 mins with 5 crayfish hanging onto it. Now they are a pain.

 
A pain?  you can eat them....
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Before we moved to Norfolk we lived in Hampshire.......and I used to do a lot of fishing on the Basingstoke canal where the signal crayfish were prolific. It was actually illegal if you caught one to throw it back so I regularly used to take them home. A couple of days in clean water to clean them out and then they made for good eating.

 

Poor mans lobster :)

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