There is no doubt that otter predation is a huge threat to carp angling.
What the public perceive as cute furry creatures, are actually apex predators which have every fishery in the country on high alert. One fishery that has been unfortunate enough to suffer from otter predation is the famous Wasing Estate. Once home to the current UK record, The Parrot at over 68lb, the site has come under siege by what is thought to be multiple otters. Due to the position of the fishery, right on the banks of the super rich River Kennett, it was always only going to be a matter of time before the otters made a beeline for the well stocked lakes.
Thankfully, the main specimen water, Cranwells Lake, was fenced at the cost of £40,000 not too long ago. This meant that only a couple of fish were actually taken from this venue. However, the problem now lies with the other lakes onsite, namely Elephant and Shalford, which have seen numerous otter kills over the last few weeks. It isn’t just the fish that are suffering either, six swans have also perished at the hands of the furry critters.
As a result of the continued predation, Mark Hibbs, the Wasing Estate’s fishery manager, got in touch with the Predator Action Group asking for their help on the matter. He revealed: “The continued otter predation on the Wasing estate is a serious worry. Our membership numbers have taken a huge hit. Last year as a business, reduced membership numbers cost us £13,780 and it is expected to rise to £26,500 this year. I do wonder how long we can sustain this level of predation.”
The PAG responded very quickly to Mark’s plea for help, Tony Gibson, the chairman of the PAG, stated: “I’m pleased to say that Mark is very supportive about everything that the PAG are doing at the moment and is very interested in following through with the application to trap/control the problem otters at the unfenced parts of the fishery. I’ll be forwarding Mark the required links to the applications form and sharing our example document for him to work from and have offered any additional support for the application process and subsequent action as may be necessary.”
Hopefully the PAG and the Wasing Estate can work together to help solve this problem as soon as possible. We will keep our readers posted as and when we learn more.