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It's a great time to be a Signal Crayfish


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Since otters eat pretty much nothing but fish, like any predator-prey situation there will be a natural balance between the number of otters and number of fish -- if the otters eat too many fish and breed too fast they then starve and their population drops. Fluctuations in both populations are a first principle in biology, absolutely normal and natural, and what happens when humans don't interfere.

 

So objecting to otters -- which are native to the UK -- because they eat fish makes no sense, especially coming from people who claim to like wildlife and nature like most people in the UK. You might just as well object to raptors killing other birds and small animals -- it's what they feed on, and nature *is* red in tooth and claw whether you like it or not.

Edited by IanD
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9 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

Is that because they've already eaten too many of the fish, or because goslings and chicks are easier to catch?

Whichever it is, that's nature in action...

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3 hours ago, BWM said:

. We already have an extinction rate that puts muxh of the world in the shade!

I think in general terms we agree,  with some differences of opinion on the subtleties, maybe one day over a pint or brew we can put the worlds to right :)

on the bit quoted we can agree

44 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

Is that because they've already eaten too many of the fish, or because goslings and chicks are easier to catch?

It's more likely they are easy prey, slow, young and inexperienced, I sometimes think the local duck population is above what would be natural anyway, especially in popular tourist spots, all that spare food fed to keep the kids entertained 

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19 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

I think in general terms we agree,  with some differences of opinion on the subtleties, maybe one day over a pint or brew we can put the worlds to right :)

on the bit quoted we can agree

It's more likely they are easy prey, slow, young and inexperienced, I sometimes think the local duck population is above what would be natural anyway, especially in popular tourist spots, all that spare food fed to keep the kids entertained 

...and the otters fed 😉

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6 hours ago, IanD said:

Since otters eat pretty much nothing but fish, like any predator-prey situation there will be a natural balance between the number of otters and number of fish -- if the otters eat too many fish and breed too fast they then starve and their population drops. Fluctuations in both populations are a first principle in biology, absolutely normal and natural, and what happens when humans don't interfere.

 

So objecting to otters -- which are native to the UK -- because they eat fish makes no sense, especially coming from people who claim to like wildlife and nature like most people in the UK. You might just as well object to raptors killing other birds and small animals -- it's what they feed on, and nature *is* red in tooth and claw whether you like it or not.

They eat many other species that aren't fish, some of which is in itself struggling due to the condition of the environment. 

 Please don't assume i am anti otter - quite the opposite, but i am frustrated by misguided re introductions that have put the natural balance out of sync. 

4 hours ago, Machpoint005 said:

Is that because they've already eaten too many of the fish, or because goslings and chicks are easier to catch?

It is almost certainly a factor, particularly in the area mentioned as the population of cormorants is massive in the region and they have already made a negative impact on fish stock.

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5 minutes ago, BWM said:

, but i am frustrated by misguided re introductions that have put the natural balance out of sync. 

Are otter reintroductions still taking place?   I can't find any reference to any this millennium.

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On 21/07/2021 at 11:32, Withywindle said:

I fancied a go at trapping a few ...

That's where you went wrong 🙂. Around here people just dangle a piece of string in the water with some bacon on the end - which can apparently be quite successful.

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15 minutes ago, BWM said:

They eat many other species that aren't fish, some of which is in itself struggling due to the condition of the environment. 

 Please don't assume i am anti otter - quite the opposite, but i am frustrated by misguided re introductions that have put the natural balance out of sync. 

It is almost certainly a factor, particularly in the area mentioned as the population of cormorants is massive in the region and they have already made a negative impact on fish stock.

Since there used to be plenty of otters in the UK eating fish (and ducks...) before we hunted/trapped/poisoned them out of existence, reintroducing them is restoring the natural balance -- what we have now is unnatural.

 

The whole point of natural balance between predators and prey is that it's what would happen without human intervention -- in this case there were a lot more otters in the past than now.

 

Same applies to cormorants -- how is them going where the food is anything other than natural? "A negative impact on fish stocks" means they're eating them, which is the natural job of a cormorant, isn't it?

 

Doesn't stop me getting annoyed when our local b*stard heron ate all the goldfish in our pond, but I can't honestly blame it for taking advantage of the free fish buffet we provided... 😞

4 minutes ago, Cheese said:

That's where you went wrong 🙂. Around here people just dangle a piece of string in the water with some bacon on the end - which can apparently be quite successful.

An opened tin of cat food makes good bait too. So I'm told...

Edited by IanD
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do as de fisherman do

if a signal crayfish wanders into my keepnet I cannot return it coz its an invasive species

the chicken in the keepnet is there to keep all the fish i catch fed

i catch no fish because there is no bait on my hook

there is no bait on my hook coz theres no hook on my line

i just enjoy sitting by the cut drinking beer

and i can trade all the signals for a chinese meal on the way home

good day out you know who you are

and having no hook gets you out of a rod licence too

 

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14 hours ago, IanD said:

Since there used to be plenty of otters in the UK eating fish (and ducks...) before we hunted/trapped/poisoned them out of existence, reintroducing them is restoring the natural balance -- what we have now is unnatural.

 

The whole point of natural balance between predators and prey is that it's what would happen without human intervention -- in this case there were a lot more otters in the past than now.

 

Same applies to cormorants -- how is them going where the food is anything other than natural? "A negative impact on fish stocks" means they're eating them, which is the natural job of a cormorant, isn't it?

 

Doesn't stop me getting annoyed when our local b*stard heron ate all the goldfish in our pond, but I can't honestly blame it for taking advantage of the free fish buffet we provided... 😞

An opened tin of cat food makes good bait too. So I'm told...

My fishing mate used to take loads home to eat. Small cat food tin. Punctured in a few places. Put in drop net on a string. Leave underwater for and hour or two. Lift up. 

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