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  #11  
Old 01-07-2013, 10:57
David Gauntlett David Gauntlett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys Perry View Post
Caught 8 fin perfect barbel the other day from a stretch near Shrewsbury that last year saw an otter family of 4. I personally don't believe the Severn suffers much from otters, I see them quite regularly and still catch barbel and chub, like Steve says the biggest problem is cormorants and goosanders taking the smaller fish.
I think that is pretty spot on Rhys, I think BIG rivers like the Severn, Trent and Wye are relatively healthy, and have a BIG barbel population....those rivers are able to sustain otter predation with little effect. I do think though that it is a different story on smaller rivers, and those that are not so healthy, with a fish population that is just hanging on by the skin of their pharyngeals

In my opinion the insanely large predatory bird population these days is, as you say, probably the bigger problem overall.

Cheers, Dave.
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2013, 10:59
Lee Iley Lee Iley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys Perry View Post
Caught 8 fin perfect barbel the other day from a stretch near Shrewsbury that last year saw an otter family of 4. I personally don't believe the Severn suffers much from otters, I see them quite regularly and still catch barbel and chub, like Steve says the biggest problem is cormorants and goosanders taking the smaller fish.
I must agree with you its the cormorants we need to sort not the otters yet. Ive seen a rise this year alone on my local river of cormorants. They need to be sorted first I think.
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2013, 23:42
Richard Lee Richard Lee is offline
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Like it or not , they are here to stay . So really pointless getting screwed up over it . I see otters on the majority of sessions on Dorset Stour and see barbel rarely . Even 5 years ago the balance was more 50/50 and 10 years ago it was rare to see otters and barbel were easy to see . do the maths . Now I just snarl at them and they hiss at me and I get on with enjoying being on a deserted river - I have had to remind myself it's not all about just the fish - I can now relax . Especially as my rod tip moves on such rare occasions .
A wise fisherman , now no longer with us once said { and wrote in his book } - when one door closes another opens .
Doesn't mean I don't miss the barbel - just that I had to look again at why I fished and reminded myself that barbel were not the only challenge out there .
Enjoy what you have - but be prepared to diversify is my mantra now .
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2013, 09:01
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Darren Scott Darren Scott is offline
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Otters are no longer a endangered species, it's as simple as that, they do not warrant their status with regards to being protected.

In the past they were allowed to be controlled, now they are not, none of us have ever faced what is now begining, and we are powerless to stop it.

All the lakes that can afford it are fencing them, so the otters will be pushed back onto the rivers.

Very worrying times for river anglers, give it 15 years and then see the state of fish stocks in this country.
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2013, 15:04
Kevin Daly Kevin Daly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Carswell View Post
Like it or not, if you haven't already got them, otters are coming your way. I've fished all my life and am the wrong side of sixty now. Back in the sixties my local river Severn abounded with massive shoals of chub, roach and dace and I never saw an otter anywhere. Comments from others rightly point out that avian predation has had a massive effect and the introduction of otters by do-gooders has merely served to exacerbate the continuing decline of freshwater fish of all species. Unfortunately, it's simply not sustainable to subject our fish to such levels of predation. I'm lucky because I've seen the good days on our rivers, but what legacy is being left to anglers of the future? Remember - not everyone want to fish in muddy commercial puddles.
Roger.
You didnt see a Barbel back then did you?
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  #16  
Old 03-07-2013, 23:43
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Roger Carswell Roger Carswell is offline
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Hello Kevin - actually I did see barbel then. I caught my first in 1963 and it weighed about 8ozs. The Severn was a totally different river then - it was alive and healthy. I do however remember a lot of people were against the introduction of barbel though. Salmon anglers were against them as were older match anglers who were brought up with float fishing, they disliked barbel because relatively unskilled anglers could catch them easily using swimfeeders which were a new method on the Severn at the time. The whole point of my initial thread was to point out that river fish have never been under such pressure from predation and declining water quality. Talk to anglers in their sixties and they will back up my argument.

PS I think it's fair to say that Midlands anglers were responsible for illegally stocking the Wye with Severn barbel. Remember, it's only a short hop from Worcester to Hereford.

Last edited by Roger Carswell; 03-07-2013 at 23:52.
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  #17  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:09
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Chris Jones Chris Jones is offline
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Of course there's no irony at all in moaning that an indigenous, but admittedly unnaturally restored, apex predator is eating a fish that's not indigenous to the river(s) concerned.

Like it or not, otters are here to stay. In some parts of the country we've had otters present for as long as anyone can remember. There are just as many barbel as there ever were (not that many). However, I doubt that there would be enough to satisfy an awful lot of anglers, especially those used to fishing rivers that have previously had little to no predation.
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:22
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Alex Gowney Alex Gowney is offline
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I have never understood the comment that barbel are not indigenous to certain rivers. Are tench indigenous to new gravel pits? If a species of fish is indigenous to the country, that is all that matters.
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  #19  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:29
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Chris Jones Chris Jones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Gowney View Post
I have never understood the comment that barbel are not indigenous to certain rivers. Are tench indigenous to new gravel pits? If a species of fish is indigenous to the country, that is all that matters.
It's very simple, Alex. Moaning that the otter has been unnaturally introduced is fine and dandy. It's just a bit difficult to justify when the root reason for your moans is the protection of a single species that has been unnaturally introduced. Double standard? You bet your arse.

Ultimately, it's very simple. **** and moan on a website and do nothing. Alternatively, keep your traps firmly shut and actually do something.
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  #20  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:56
Ben Whitehouse Ben Whitehouse is offline
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I think it does depend on the size of the river. For instance where i fish on the Lower Severn there has been a resident family of otters for many years and they have not effected the fish one iota. There is also a resident family of otters on my one club water on Middle Teme, whilst i know of a couple of dead fish that have been found in recent years, i think otter predation amongst other reasons has seen a reduction in numbers on that particular stretch. However, i am sure on a small river such as the Teme, on certain stretches that were once laden with lots of barbel then i am sure they were easy pickings. Also, i think the reduction in eel numbers in recent years (was it due to a parasite?) and numbers of silver fish have led the otters to feed on something else, with barbel providing an easy alternative. I believe that there may be a variety of reasons for numbers of barbel dwindling on that stretch of the Teme, e.g. the 2007 floods, pesticides etc being washed into the river from farmland next to the river and also a natural progression in that the numbers on the stretch were too high and that nature has a way of balancing things out - however this is a different story for a different day.

However, i do know of otters wiping out ponds full of fish, including a farm pool that was stocked with nice roach and wild carp that i used to fish as a kid with my friend who lived on the farm. Apparently an otter has caused no end of troubles up there which is a shame as was great little pond when i was younger.
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