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The Predation Action Group and a Quiet Finish: Tony’s Specialist Scene

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An 18lb barbel - ottered! We have to act. An 18lb barbel - ottered! We have to act.

Due to the conditions Tony has to endure a quiet end to the river season - fighting for fishing rather than fighting fish...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suspect that I was far from alone in looking forward to a concentrated effort on the rivers to see out the end of season, especially following the poor weather for most of the winter that had made fishing the rivers a difficult and sometimes almost impossible prospect and had even managed to put a lid on the stillwaters for an extended period.


However the reality was that circumstances and further rotten weather conditions meant that my March campaign on the rivers eventually dwindled to a single afternoon/early evening chub session a couple of days before the close. A long way short of my earlier ambitious plans to have a whole series of late afternoon/evening sessions, exploring miles of riverbank in the hope of a monster chub or two ending up in the landing net!


Before I was able to get too serious about my personal fishing plans though, there was an important event to attend at the beginning of March. This was something that had been earmarked in the diary for the best part of a year and while there was a very serious element to the occasion, it was also a major social event as well. This was the annual Carpin’ On exhibition and show held over the first weekend in March at the Five Lakes complex in Essex.


Similar to last year, I was going to be manning the Predation Action Group (PAG) stand over the weekend to help raise awareness and support for the aims of the PAG and to also help to raise funds for the important work that the group is doing to collect and summarise scientific information on the impact of predation on our freshwater fisheries with a view to eventually amending the laws to enable better protection for our precious fisheries.


With Pip Dean at Carpin' OnThe weekend itself went really well and I was very happy with the increased awareness and support for the PAG. The organisation and setting up of the actual PAG stand and the success of the overall event itself is largely down to the sheer determination and a massive amount of hard work and effort from Philippa (Pip) Dean and her team from Angling Publications. Until you get involved behind the scenes a little bit with events and shows like this it’s difficult to imagine how much work actually goes into the preparation and ongoing organisation to ensure that things go well. Pip and her team deserve a medal for their help with the PAG stand and the overall success of the Carpin’ On weekend over the last few years.   


It was noticeable this year that many more people are aware of what the Predation Action Group is all about and what we are trying to do. I would guess that some of this is due to the ever increasing predation problem so many more people are becoming personally impacted. However some of the increased awareness must also be due to the ongoing publicity and media attention that the issues surrounding predation are receiving, certainly the fundraising part of the weekend went very well, with the raffle, donations, wrist band sales and proceeds from the casting competition all helping to raise over £1,000.00 for the PAG fighting fund.


A big thank you must go to Nash and JRC for the very generous donation of a set of carp rods each for the raffle prizes and to the guys at Fox for once again giving us the proceeds from their casting competition. I also have to thank my good friends over on the Nash tackle area for helping to sell the raffle tickets over the two days and to the popular comedian Jim Davidson for his ongoing support and encouragement and the huge plug that he gave the PAG during his talk/presentation at the show on the Sunday


As I’ve already mentioned, the general support for the Predation Action Group and all that we’re trying to do is slowly building momentum. However I’d still like to see much more support and backing coming from the trade to help finance the work that the PAG is doing. Financial support for the PAG will become increasingly important as we get closer to the time when the group’s findings can be presented to the correct authorities and work starts on the processes to bring about the appropriate changes to the laws and regulations that will lead to proper protection for our fisheries.


Hopefully there will be real fish left for this youngster to catch in the future...The PAG is there trying to protect the fish that we all want to catch. Without the fish swimming around in our waters there won’t be any anglers and the angling related industry will also cease to exist. To me it makes perfect sense for the tackle and bait firms to fully back the aims of the PAG and to offer appropriate support whenever possible.


If you, either an individual or part of the fishing industry, are concerned about predation related issues and want to learn more about the Predation Action Group and/or how you can provide your support, please have a look HERE The PAG web site also provides additional contact details and an overview of how donations and support can be provided.


Once the Carpin’ On show was over and done I desperately wanted to get myself out fishing, but locally the conditions continued to be poor at best. As mentioned, I really had my heart set on some chub fishing on the River Ouse, but with the river swollen with dirty floodwater for most of the period leading up to the end of the season, conditions were far from ideal.


The other river option that that I was keen to pursue was trip to the River Kennet to have a couple of days’ dace fishing with John Wilson. John and I have known each other for several years, but have never managed to actually fish together. We’d talked about our mutual enthusiasm for dace fishing on several occasions and had been trying to set up a session together on a stretch of the River Kennet that we’d both fished in the past for well over a year. Busy schedules and necessary changes of plan had prevented us from clearing the required spaces in our diaries, but eventually we were able to make a firm decision on dates, so with less than a fortnight to go before the end of the season we’d got two consecutive days sorted out for our trip.


Just before we were due to book up some overnight accommodation John checked with another friend who he knew also had thoughts about fishing the same stretch to see if he had any up-to-date information that might have been useful to us… and that’s when our plans came undone.


We both knew that the big dace we’d fished for years ago would have died off, but we’d been hopeful that with a few years of neglect and virtually no coarse fish angling having taken place on the stretch in recent years, some big fish would have grown on to replace them. Unfortunately what John learned was that due to certain factors, most likely including cormorant predation, regeneration had failed to take place and there were virtually no silver fish species showing on the stretch at all and no big dace had been seen, never mind caught, for several years. Therefore we had to regretfully cancel our plans. It was a real shame as John is fantastic company whatever the occasion and I’d really been looking forward to the trip.


Hopefully we’ll come up with another good excuse to fish together somewhere else sometime in the future.  


With thoughts focused back on the River Ouse and a bit of chub fishing, I was watching the weather forecasts like a hawk and keeping an eye on the river conditions at any available opportunity. Eventually, with time before the season’s end fast running out, but with the river still far from perfect, I managed to organise things so I could have an afternoon and early evening session on the river.   


With the water still very coloured and still pushing through quite fast, I’d perhaps have been better off using a boilie based approach with self-hooking style rigs. However I’d previously been planning to roam about over long distances of riverbank with a mobile, liquidised bread/bread-flake based approach (as described HERE in a Specialist Scene article a couple of month’s back) and I had prepared and stored a reasonable quantity of bread based bait in the freezer in accordance with my plans. Therefore, with my session fast approaching and limited opportunity to amend my approach, that’s what I ended up doing.


Taking into account the extra colour and flow in the water, I treated half of my liquidised bread and half of my hookbait slices to a couple of squirts of a strong seafood flavour before setting off. The flavour would be drawn into both the liquidised and sliced bread as it thawed, which would provide a more scented food trail for the chub to home in on if I thought it might be necessary.


On arrival at my chosen stretch of river, I wasn’t at all surprised to find that I was pulling into an otherwise empty car park. However, with the state of the river, rather than having loads of potential swims to move between, I was left wandering about looking for a likely swim or two that might provide a few big chub with a comfortable enough environment that could just encourage them to have a bite to eat.     


Out of the entire downstream section of my chosen stretch there were only two swims that I fancied might offer a chance. One was a straight section with a reasonable strip of relatively smooth, steady water running close in off some reeds growing out from the bank downstream of the peg. The other was situated on the outside of a bend where the push of extra water created a section of slack water a little way upstream.


Something told me the straight was the favourite out of the two options and so I started off there with plain liquidised bread pressed quite firmly into the cage feeder  and a good sized pinch of bread-flake on the hook.


Out of the entire downstream section of my chosen stretch there were only two swims that I fancied might offer a chanceAn hour into the session and I’d had two casts into the first choice swim, one just dropped gently towards the head of the swim and another about a third of the way down. However I had nothing to show for my initial efforts, except for the odd slow pull or ‘plink’ on the tip as bits of crud bumped into the mainline.  A quick move to the bend swim and another hour on the plain bread based baits provided a similar result; so things weren’t looking too promising.


With a little bit of freezing drizzle starting to fall I was prompted to move back to the more fancied straight and I attempt to erect the little lightweight brolly that I’ve brought with me with as little fuss as possible before making a cast with the flavoured version of the liquid bread in the feeder and flavoured bread-flake on the hook. 15 minutes after making the cast I’d started to think that a ‘blank’ was pretty much a foregone conclusion when the tip signalled an occurrence.  


Normally I find it reasonably easy to distinguish the difference between a weed/rubbish type indication on the tip and the bite from a fish, even when the bites are quite tentative. On this occasion though the movement was a bit like something in between… more of a nudge than a bite. Rather than strike all I ended up doing was being suddenly spurred into a state of full alert, with my right hand hovering over the rod handle.


However nothing further happened and eventually I was left thinking that in hindsight I should have struck at the indication. Perhaps it’s one that the touch-ledgering advocates would have ‘nailed’, but these things are impossible to know for sure and eventually all that was left to do was ponder the possibilities as I re-baited and made another cast in the gathering gloom. 


I keep trying touch-ledgering, but I’m not sure that it’s really caught me any more fish and I tend to think that the bites I hit would have been ones that I’d have seen and reacted to on the tip… or that’s what I tell myself anyway. I also lack the discipline in the cold weather and can’t resist tucking my frozen digits into the side pockets of my jacket to warm up, which obviously defeats the object of the exercise.


Anyway, the rest of the session passed by without further incident and finally I had to admit defeat and succumbed to the idea of heading off back to a warm house and some hot food.  


The Peg One stand at NorfolkThe weekend after the start of the close season was the rescheduled Norfolk Carp and Angling Show held at the exhibition halls at the Norfolk Showground. Due to work commitments I hadn’t been able to make the show on the original dates earlier in the year, but after it was cancelled due to snow and rescheduled I was able to attend, which was good news. I was performing part of my Nash/Peg One consultancy duties at the show and spent most of the two days as part of the Peg One team manning the Peg One stand. It’s a show that I really look forward to attending, as my Peg One and Nash colleagues are a great bunch of guys to spend some time with and there’s usually plenty of chances to catch up with some old friends that I haven’t seen for a while.


As it happened, John Wilson had his rig-clinic stand set up just round the other side of a dividing wall, so we were able to do a bit of catching up and gossiping while commiserating ourselves on the dace trip we’d had to cancel only a week or two previously.


One of the other highlights of the show was that I was treated to a sneak preview of the photos of Paul Garner’s massive 19lb 2oz zander that he’d very recently caught from the River Severn just prior to the season ending. Paul is our Peg One brand manager and he’d brought along his i-Pad loaded with a number of pictures of his magnificent fish prior to them appearing in the press. There’s a detailed account and some eye-popping photos of Paul’s catch HERE on the FM website.    


So with my latest batch of shows over for the time being and a promise from the weather people that the winter really isn’t going to last all year, it’s finally time to start seriously considering trying to get my bream fishing gear together.


It seems crazy to think that a few years ago, on the back of a really mild winter I had made a start to my ‘spring’ breaming campaign in February, while this year I’m writing this on an Easter Bank Holiday weekend with snow still laying in the garden and my bream rods still gathering dust in a corner of the garage.    


Still, it can only get better… can’t it? 


Until next time… Happy fishing!







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Comments (33 posted):

Paul Boote on 17/04/2013 11:38:28
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Some things never change. This - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OQnZdUYV3no/UWqKN-HWdQI/AAAAAAAAHgA/38waHUKJL0A/s1600/wilton1.jpg - in a book - Andrews of Arcadia Scrapbook: The Wild Men of Wilton - that I bought from Medlar yesterday. Used to fish both the Kennet and the Wylye - Nadder - Ebble - Avon waters, you know. In my day, Preferred Predator of The Day was Pike - netted, speared, snared, shot, rod and lined, then buried with the toothy skulls nailed up on a fishing hut wall or tree... Some things never change.
Eric Edwards on 17/04/2013 22:56:27
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The anti-otter groups have made much of the "illegal release of captive bred otters" and the PAG appealed for information on their website over a year ago on this. I wrote to PAG a couple of months ago asking what evidence they had received - they didn't reply. I wrote again - still nothing, then I wrote directly to someone who I know is a member. he couldn't answer my question but referred me to someone who could. "No hard evidence but strong circumstantial" came the eventual reply - I guess that means none then. Hysteria is being whipped up on the forums about otters but it's a facade - there's nothing behind it!
cg74 on 19/04/2013 16:03:57
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The anti-otter groups have made much of the "illegal release of captive bred otters" and the PAG appealed for information on their website over a year ago on this. I wrote to PAG a couple of months ago asking what evidence they had received - they didn't reply. I wrote again - still nothing, then I wrote directly to someone who I know is a member. he couldn't answer my question but referred me to someone who could. "No hard evidence but strong circumstantial" came the eventual reply - I guess that means none then. Hysteria is being whipped up on the forums about otters but it's a facade - there's nothing behind it! Ah, so it's not just me that doesn't get replies.
tonygibson1 on 20/04/2013 08:41:06
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From some of the related comments, it appears as though there may be some misconceptions regarding the PAG. The PAG is not an anti-otter group. It is most definately a pro fish/fishing group, set up with the intent to help preserve fish and fisheries. The PAG board members is made up of a very small group of concerned individuals (including myself), who are worried about the impacts of increasing predation on fisheries and the sport of angling in Gt. Britain. The PAG is currently researching all of this and will be presenting/publishing the results at the appropriate time in the future. The PAG is a totally independent body and it's board member's work is volunatry and unpaid. I'm sure that each of the board members already had very busy lives before adding on the extra time, effort and expense that being a PAG board member entails. With all of the usual life, work and family commitments, the huge amount of effort that the ongoing PAG research related work takes, unfortunately means that answering individual queries often has be pushed lower down the priority list as there simply isn't enough time for it all. Expecting the PAG board to detail their current research and findings to individuals, especially when the motive for such a request is unclear, isn't really something that we can realistically treat as a priority at the present time. There is plenty of evidence out there related to the impact of otter related predation. The PAG website shows some quite horrific photos, and recent publications, such as the April issue of Carpworld and the May issue of Coarse Angling Today also have related articles and photos. Hugh Miles, the famous wildlife camaraman, details some very clear evidence witnessed in his own back garden in recent blogs on the subject. Also the very fact that miles and miles of protective fencing is being errected around fisheries up and down the country is clear evidence of the problem, as I don't know of any fishery owners that would go to the trouble and expense of such an excercise just for the fun of it.
Fred Bonney on 20/04/2013 09:13:28
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No comments from me, but I've agreed with the sentiment, so no misconception on my part! In my humble opinion, the group is an unnecessary dilution of anglings representation. It does not represent anglers in general especially as it ignores anglers who seek out the detail. "Expecting the PAG board to detail their current research and findings to individuals, especially when the motive for such a request is unclear, isn't really something that we can realistically treat as a priority at the present time." Why not publicise that information to all then ?
The bad one on 20/04/2013 13:28:41
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Oh the august and peer reviewed journals of Carp World and Angling Today they should carry great weight with the government and their scientific advisors if and when you publish and present them with your report. :rolleyes: You state PAG is not an anti-otter group. It is most definately a pro fish/fishing group, set up with the intent to help preserve fish and fisheries” That is spin and bull manure and you know it! The focus of what PAG publish is mainly on Otters and the first of any picture on PAG’s site is always on otters. The physiology of advertising and campaigning eh!;) You then go on to highlight all the things otters have done on “some” fisheries. There is plenty of evidence out there related to the impact of otter related predation. The PAG website shows some quite horrific photos, and recent publications, such as the April issue of Carpworld and the May issue of Coarse Angling Today also have related articles and photos. Hugh Miles, the famous wildlife camaraman, details some very clear evidence witnessed in his own back garden in recent blogs on the subject. Also the very fact that miles and miles of protective fencing is being errected around fisheries up and down the country is clear evidence of the problem, as I don't know of any fishery owners that would go to the trouble and expense of such an excercise just for the fun of it. But of course you are not an anti otter group are you? Then there’s the board of PAG who were they elected by? And who do they really represent? It’s noteworthy that the Chair of the Angling Trust sits on it (personal capacity no doubt you and he will claim), but in his bio on PAG’s site where he list all the things he’s involved in, neglects to state that he is also the chair of Atr. Dare I suggest there might just be a perception that there’s a conflict of interest there and being economical with what he’s truly involved in? You quote Hugh Mills, but neglect to point out that he made a short film (published on this site) where he highlights what he believes is the real threat to our river, cormorants! More economies of truth perhaps on PAG’s part? The bottom line on otters is you and PAG know the subject splits angling right down the middle and PAG is only giving the anti side of otters. But of course it's not an anti otter group, it a pro fish and fishing group. Now how does the saying go? You can fool some of the people some of the time………. :rolleyes: In my view the biggest threat to fishing is an anti otter stance such as PAG is taking and is likely to blow both feet off angling with the shotgun they are using.
bennygesserit on 20/04/2013 16:22:19
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The furore around Freddy the seal died pretty quickly but still for a while people got pretty upset at anglers wanting to harm a furry creature , multiply that one hundred fold if we stage an official anti otter campaign, besides what better indicator that a river is a healthy and its populations becoming self sustaining than the presence of this natural British predator, the PAGs effort is being spent on the wrong issue.
Eric Edwards on 20/04/2013 17:43:34
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Expecting the PAG board to detail their current research and findings to individuals, especially when the motive for such a request is unclear, isn't really something that we can realistically treat as a priority at the present time. Hmm, so is it all secret then? Are we lowly people beneath these champions of the aquatic world? For information I've recently asked questions of senior people in the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency and found that I could get a polite and meaningful answer without any problem. Are PAG too busy to answer with all this charitable and unpaid work they do? For your information I do many many hours of charitable and unpaid work for angling organisations, as do a number of the respondants on this thread yet I can still find time to answer a question. If the motive for the request is unclear to me it doesn't bother me, because I have nothing to hide and i believe in what I do.
tonygibson1 on 21/04/2013 11:32:05
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The PAG website, it's latest leaflet destribution, recent press releases and the related information outlined in my recent article and have repeated in the associated comment, all clearly state that the PAG has been formed out of concern for fish, fisheries and fishing and it's aim is to research and investigate the increasing predation issue and to publish the results at the appropriate time. Fact! Some people may not agree with these aims, and that is personnal choice/opinion. I don't have a problem with that. Some of the associated vitriolic and personal criticism I think is rather unnessary and sounds a little desperate to me. In the past I've found that similar tactics are employed by people that are loosing an argument. While I agree with the aims of the PAG and I believe that the PAG has the best interests of angling's future at heart I am proud to be associated with the organisation. Support for the PAG continues to grow. The support from the general angling puplic at the Carpin' On show this year was massive. At last year's show only one person out of hundreds that I spoke to disagreed with the way that the PAG were tackling the predation issue. This year ever single person I spoke to was in agreement!
Eric Edwards on 21/04/2013 14:03:43
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With all due respect, people who attend the Carpin' On show are not representative of the general angling public. PAG's stated aim "to research and investigate the increasing predation issue and to publish the results at the appropriate time." is harmless enough, there's nothing there worth disagreeing with but what research is being done? What investigations are being carried out? When will the results be published and where, and who will get to see them? The organisation has been in existence for a couple of years now and seemingly nothing is happening. The website hasn't been meaningfully updated for a long time and if we try to ask a question, we get ignored. My own concern was that there is a degree of misinformation which has been doing the rounds now for quite a while. There's a belief that illegal otter releases are taking place but no-one ever provides any evidence of this and I've come to the conclusion that it's all complete nonsense. PAG could help dispel this misinformation but chooses not to.
Peter Jacobs on 21/04/2013 14:15:11
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The PAG website, it's latest leaflet destribution, recent press releases and the related information outlined in my recent article and have repeated in the associated comment, all clearly state that the PAG has been formed out of concern for fish, fisheries and fishing and it's aim is to research and investigate the increasing predation issue and to publish the results at the appropriate time. Fact! Some people may not agree with these aims, and that is personnal choice/opinion. I don't have a problem with that. Some of the associated vitriolic and personal criticism I think is rather unnessary and sounds a little desperate to me. In the past I've found that similar tactics are employed by people that are loosing an argument. While I agree with the aims of the PAG and I believe that the PAG has the best interests of angling's future at heart I am proud to be associated with the organisation. Support for the PAG continues to grow. The support from the general angling puplic at the Carpin' On show this year was massive. At last year's show only one person out of hundreds that I spoke to disagreed with the way that the PAG were tackling the predation issue. This year ever single person I spoke to was in agreement! Well, for what it is worth, I for one would support the work being done by the PAG and am happy to wait to see the results of their work. It is simple knowledge that we have an excess of predation, especially on our river down here in the South, Cormorants are bad enough but Otters are an apex predator who also kill for apparent fun; killing far more fish than they could possibly eat. If we hope to have anything left in our rivers for our grandchildren to catch then research and appropriate actions needs to take place - and the sooner the better!
bennygesserit on 21/04/2013 15:39:12
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Well, for what it is worth, I for one would support the work being done by the PAG and am happy to wait to see the results of their work. It is simple knowledge that we have an excess of predation, especially on our river down here in the South, Cormorants are bad enough but Otters are an apex predator who also kill for apparent fun; killing far more fish than they could possibly eat. If we hope to have anything left in our rivers for our grandchildren to catch then research and appropriate actions needs to take place - and the sooner the better! So Peter we have an apex predator that kills for fun but that has existed in the wild for thousands of years in Britain its amazing that any fish still exist in this country , unless of course the system was previously in balance and the water was clean. This is a wild animal that naturally spaces itself out in an eco-system that fluctuates for a myriad number of reasons , any money would be far better spent on unbiased research. When you call for appropriate research and then "appropriate action the sooner the better" , it means you have already made your mind up , so the research would be useless. Its a usual forum technique to dismiss quoted research with "well they were paid to come up with those answers" I assume the same argument will not be allowed with the PAG findings. Clean naturally flowing rivers which are in balance , including Pike , Perch , kingfishers and Otters are what we should be fighting for.
Peter Jacobs on 21/04/2013 16:57:33
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No, it is an animal that was previously virtually, if not actually, extinct as it couldn't handle the rigors of modern farming techniques. It is only reintroduced because of 'man' playing at being God! Not only were these people playing at being God but with absolutely no consultation with the wider angling community whatsoever. That, in itself I think of as being an an act of environmental criminality - don't you? The Bear and the Wolf were once natural inhabitants of these islands too, maybe we should consider reintroducing those back into our environment? No, didn't think so!
Eric Edwards on 21/04/2013 17:07:12
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What an incredibly narrow viewpoint. Man "played god" as you put it by introducing hundreds of thousands of genetically manipulated carp into our aquatic ecosystems. Now, because they can't "handle the rigours" of a wild environment in which a totally natural and indigenous predator rules the roost you cry foul! Otters were wiped out not by "techniques" but by poison, and thank goodness we've stopped using it. Just 117 otters were reintroduced and the last one was in 1999. The animals have made a comeback on their own, but not by any natural means. The massive boom in otter numbers has come about because there is a plentiful supply of easy-to-catch food in the shape of creatures that were originally bred only for food and aren't native to anywhere.
bennygesserit on 21/04/2013 17:25:00
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No, it is an animal that was previously virtually, if not actually, extinct as it couldn't handle the rigors of modern farming techniques. It is only reintroduced because of 'man' playing at being God! Not only were these people playing at being God but with absolutely no consultation with the wider angling community whatsoever. That, in itself I think of as being an an act of environmental criminality - don't you? The Bear and the Wolf were once natural inhabitants of these islands too, maybe we should consider reintroducing those back into our environment? No, didn't think so! Peter you are normally such a sensible chap that posting this extinct as it couldn't handle the rigors of modern farming techniques. leaves me amazed , do you mean it suffered a decline because of a massive build up of pollutants in the food chain , so any animal or plant unable to resist these should be discarded ? Is this an attitude common in those who work in the Petro Chemical Industry ? It seems a tremendously dated view. So man should not play God in the natural world , I wouldn't call the assisted reintroduction of an animal that was common in Britain during my lifetime as playing God , its more the attempt to allow our natural heritage to flourish mainly by enabling clean water, thats hardly an act of eco criminality.
Nathan Walter on 22/04/2013 04:26:35
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This is a wild animal that naturally spaces itself out in an eco-system that fluctuates for a myriad number of reasons , any money would be far better spent on unbiased research. On a trip to Wales at the tail end of the season I witnessed 7 otters in a very short stretch of a small Wye tributary. Is that the "naturally spaces itself out in an eco-system" that you speak of?
jasonbean1 on 22/04/2013 08:19:38
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On a trip to Wales at the tail end of the season I witnessed 7 otters in a very short stretch of a small Wye tributary. Is that the "naturally spaces itself out in an eco-system" that you speak of? thing is anyone other than an angler would say that just shows otters are a conservation success and for them to be there in numbers shows there is an abundance of food and the catchment as never been healthier...very good PR for the EA/NE so thats what you are up against even though at the start of PAG i did send them information regarding a river local to me. to be honest i cant see the point of PAG, if you list the top 3 predation problems what can be done about them? 1. otters, nothing other than gain extra funding for fencing 2. cormorants, shoot more and that is already being pushed as much as possible by the angling trust 3. invasive crayfish, nothing a europe wide problem that until a miracle solution appears it will stay the same and they will spread across the UK in all honesty i beleive that it is a carp led anti otter group and until they prove otherwise i reckon they do more harm than good by misinforming the average angler...thing is more important issues should be discussed and addressed. Jason
geoffmaynard on 22/04/2013 08:57:21
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thing is anyone other than an angler would say that just shows otters are a conservation success and for them to be there in numbers shows there is an abundance of food and the catchment as never been healthier...very good PR for the EA/NE Which is another example of democracy failing us. The opinions of 10,000 badly informed people shouldn't be compared with the opinions of a dozen very well informed people. Predation is a problem on many waters. That is an inescapable fact. What are you going to do about it? Something or nothing?
Paul Boote on 22/04/2013 08:57:23
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in all honesty i beleive that it is a carp led anti otter group and until they prove otherwise i reckon they do more harm than good by misinforming the average angler...thing is more important issues should be discussed and addressed. Very inclined to feel the same, Jason. You and others will remember how my least utterance about otters ("Don't go there, fellas, WE will end up being culled - hated by our children and partners, routinely abused [even bricked] by passers-by at the waterside etc") was greeted on one Golden Wonder website, mostly not by the barbel anglers one would have expected to be present but carp fishers either new to barbel fishing (and to the site) or non-barbelly sorts just there for the otter debate ride, about how very personal and balls-out rude they became when they had been out-debated and had lost the argument. Very telling.
jasonbean1 on 22/04/2013 09:29:21
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Which is another example of democracy failing us. The opinions of 10,000 badly informed people shouldn't be compared with the opinions of a dozen very well informed people. Predation is a problem on many waters. That is an inescapable fact. What are you going to do about it? Something or nothing? geoff i live in the real world...and i do as much as i can to help my bit of river, i could easily get side tracked by predation and beleive me there are very few rivers that have suffered as much as the cherwell from it. and something?...yes a few years ago i went to a presentation by graham scholey, after that i asked hem to come and walk the cherwell with me for a chat and he was pleasant, well informed and helpful and from that day i realised that there was not point what so ever...now i concentrate on what can be done......and we do ok remember martin bowler trying to take him to task? ---------- Post added at 02:29 ---------- Previous post was at 02:26 ---------- Very inclined to feel the same, Jason. You and others will remember how my least utterance about otters ("Don't go there, fellas, WE will end up being culled - hated by our children and partners, routinely abused [even bricked] by passers-by at the waterside etc") was greeted on one Golden Wonder website, mostly not by the barbel anglers one would have expected to be present but carp fishers either new to barbel fishing (and to the site) or non-barbelly sorts just there for the otter debate ride, about how very personal and balls-out rude they became when they had been out-debated and had lost the argument. Very telling. thing is Paul....take carp and otters out of the equation, who would they have on the group and what would they stand for?
Eric Edwards on 22/04/2013 09:49:36
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in all honesty i beleive that it is a carp led anti otter group and until they prove otherwise i reckon they do more harm than good by misinforming the average angler...thing is more important issues should be discussed and addressed. Jason Watch the pictures flick by on the PAG website home page and there's really no other conclusion you can come to. We already have a representative body, the Angling Trust and any other people who claim to represent the views of "the general angling public" are doing no more than diluting angling's collective efforts. Thing is, otter lovers and anglers (proper anglers) both want the same thing, clean rivers well stocked with fish.
bennygesserit on 22/04/2013 11:56:50
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Interestingly I read on the EA website that southern rivers suffer more otter attrition than northern and the rivers that suffer most of all are those with a plethora of large barbel and chub, simply because the otter would be more likely to leave the bigger fish alone if the smaller ones were present in the correct numbers. If the same held true about predators eating themselves to extinction then there would be no herds of wildebeast or zebra etc on the African plains. Of course there is a fluctuation between prey and predator but its one of the many fluctuations that happen in a river any way , for instance floods can wash away a whole years worth of fry there are many cycles at work throughout all of a rivers phases. I am sure many anglers would rather sit in a natural rich river environment that inlcuded otters than a barren culled , curtailed and controlled river that held a few oversized barbel.
Fred Bonney on 22/04/2013 12:39:44
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I'm still somewhat puzzled that some folk seem to think that barbel are the only fish victims of the otter!!
Peter Jacobs on 22/04/2013 16:44:26
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extinct as it couldn't handle the rigors of modern farming techniques. leaves me amazed , do you mean it suffered a decline because of a massive build up of pollutants in the food chain , so any animal or plant unable to resist these should be discarded ? Is this an attitude common in those who work in the Petro Chemical Industry ? It seems a tremendously dated view. It is nothing to do with working in the Petro-chemical industry and everything to do with the Otter being brought to extinction by the over use of DDT decades ago. Now, I am not saying that it was right, what I am saying is that given the terrible abuse of our Southern rivers by Cormorants that there was no room in the riverine environment for another predator, let alone an apex one. Add to that the fact that absolutely no interaction was undertaken between the people who reintroduced these animals and the angling community and I stand by what I said about their reintroduction being one of environmental criminality. As well-meaning as those people thought they may have been at the time, the fact remains that they undertook little or no scientific study before reeking this havoc on our Southern rivers. For the record, I mostly fish my local rivers and while I undertake the occasional Carp trip you couldn't really label me a 'carp angler', so my comments are those from one who sees the damage first hand every time I walk the banks of my local Hampshire Avon.
the blanker on 22/04/2013 17:25:54
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It is nothing to do with working in the Petro-chemical industry and everything to do with the Otter being brought to extinction by the over use of DDT decades ago. Now, I am not saying that it was right, what I am saying is that given the terrible abuse of our Southern rivers by Cormorants that there was no room in the riverine environment for another predator, let alone an apex one. Add to that the fact that absolutely no interaction was undertaken between the people who reintroduced these animals and the angling community and I stand by what I said about their reintroduction being one of environmental criminality. As well-meaning as those people thought they may have been at the time, the fact remains that they undertook little or no scientific study before reeking this havoc on our Southern rivers. For the record, I mostly fish my local rivers and while I undertake the occasional Carp trip you couldn't really label me a 'carp angler', so my comments are those from one who sees the damage first hand every time I walk the banks of my local Hampshire Avon. if they had they would have known that the otter population was increasing without the help of short sighted idiots who only cared about their own agenda, it would have taken time for the population to increase naturaly to a level that the environment may have been able cope with but that was something the advocates of reintroductions were not prepared to give.
bennygesserit on 22/04/2013 20:00:42
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It is nothing to do with working in the Petro-chemical industry and everything to do with the Otter being brought to extinction by the over use of DDT decades ago. Now, I am not saying that it was right, what I am saying is that given the terrible abuse of our Southern rivers by Cormorants that there was no room in the riverine environment for another predator, let alone an apex one. Add to that the fact that absolutely no interaction was undertaken between the people who reintroduced these animals and the angling community and I stand by what I said about their reintroduction being one of environmental criminality. Peter from the EA The Otter Trust released 117 captive-bred otters between 1983 and 1999, mostly on East Anglian rivers, but with some elsewhere. Their last release was of 17 otters on the upper Thames catchment over a six-month period in 1999. The Vincent Wildlife Trust released a further 49 rehabilitated animals (i.e. orphaned and injured wild otters kept in captivity until fit for release) between 1990 and 1996, many of these as part of a release programme in Yorkshire. So this process actually started in 1983 how does that coincide with the timeline for cormorants ? Also do you think that in places where you think otters have had an effect that you are seeing a shortage of smaller fish ? Do you also think that the lack of smaller fish might be caused by cormorants ? Are there any anglers fishing northern rivers that are so vehemently against otters ? Finally , and here the flak will come my way , the aim of the EA should be to promote a clean water environment not create an artificially stocked "river commercial".
jasonbean1 on 22/04/2013 20:53:00
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benny..the EA does not know what it's role is
Paul Boote on 22/04/2013 22:30:52
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benny..the EA does not know what it's role is Careful what you wish for. The EA, bad as it can be, tries its best, is good-hearted and is generally "on the side of the good guys / Angels". The alternative? Cherrypicked waters / rivers: those that the Money and the Smart Set want being taken up and looked after ("by Types Like Us"), the rest being left to go to the wall (and the polluted / abstracted / trashed pieces and dead bodies being left for the poor old EA to pick up). What the cherrypickers of "better waters" fail to understand, however, is that their fenced-off little pieces of Paradise can only continue to thrive if the watersheds around them don't send their poo their way. "OMG! One has a ghastly pollution incident and a mass kill! Call the EA ... oh, oh my God, we cut the EA..." Bit like private medecine - fine and dandy until you fall really ill.
jasonbean1 on 22/04/2013 22:53:54
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yep your right Paul...better the devil you know
Paul Boote on 22/04/2013 22:58:34
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My word, talk about Synchronicity or summat: I was about to post this (Insider's) line: "Better the Devil you know than the One you know even better.".
bennygesserit on 23/04/2013 08:43:30
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benny..the EA does not know what it's role is benny..the EA does not know what it's role is I can only agree that it is being pulled from pillar to post with directives about hydro and houses being built on flood plains etc I saw a very good rant from CG74 i think about the EA's role. But my point was that on very broad terms the reintroduction of the otter and striving towards clean water fits in with what everyone agrees is its ethos. Is your river the Cherwell ? IPADS make using forums clunky. Has that been hit particularly by predation ? Is it just otters or cormorants or crayfish? Does your river lack smaller fish ? The only hesitancy I have with otters is I wonder whether traditionally they have been trapped / shot over the years , exactly what the PAG are about in fact , but if they were not a target in , say the 1920’s , then we should continue with them as a protected species.
Fred Bonney on 23/04/2013 08:48:01
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My memory of the Cherwell is that it lacked.......water!
bennygesserit on 23/04/2013 09:23:59
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My memory of the Cherwell is that it lacked.......water! Aaah thanks Fred :) I haven't done the required reading , still learn something new everyday.


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