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levigsp last won the day on December 22 2017

levigsp had the most liked content!

About levigsp

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 16/10/48

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    out of doors
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    winding people up
  1. Otters, reality check.

    Nick, I am surprised as I thought modern thinking showed the Great Ouse to be the furthest north, but if its the Trent so be it, it still means that the fish in all the other rivers and lakes have in the main arrived there by our hand. I can think of a great many waters that have had fish stocks added in my life time and people think they are natural and that's for angling purposes, man spread fish about a LOT more when it was for food, take a look at Ireland a haven for pike and roach, yet both were introduced relatively recently.
  2. Otters, reality check.

    I think you should read my posts start to finish correctly and not skip though them, I said from the start the crash in otter numbers was chemicals and not hunting. Next get yourself a decent reference book on freshwater fish and you will see how they all spread from the Danube delta some 10,000 years ago and they evolved along the way, you will also find all the rivers in the UK had an endemic population of Char and whitefish etc and only the rivers and lagoons of East Anglia were connected to the European mainland river system and they alone contained coarse fish, that is not my speculation it is fact. As for mans help, one has only to look at how many " native fish" have been moved into new water ways in our lifetime to realise its not big deal, why do you think there were no coarse fish in Scotland not that long ago yet now they are common place. Otters are here to stay and rightfully so, I would not like to eradicate them, but I do wish we could control their numbers where they are a problem, exactly how its done in Europe and used to be done here.
  3. Otters, reality check.

    Yes they are protected by EU law, same as Seals, and birds of prey, yet they are all controlled in EU.
  4. Otters, reality check.

    So I will start at the "So are we masters of our own misfortune by proliferating easy target fish like carp and is this part of the problem, i reckon it is" why? we have had carp for 800 years give or take and at no point were they seriously threatened, just look at places like Redmire in the 30s-50s fish grew unhindered in good numbers, so why wouldn't they now, the answer is simple, there are more otters now than there were then- but Ill get back to this point. Scotland and other parts of the UK, have hosted fish and Otters together for millenia, long before man, why, are the rivers not been empty for years or Otters died out years ago, the balance was natural and now it isnt, when man plays with nature he loses, full stop. Sorry but what a load of poppycock! trying to compare rivers with lakes simply doesn't work, as stated in my previous post, river fish like sea trout, Salmon etc., are too small when they leave the rivers, they return when big and as fast as the otter can eat them, they are replaced with another fish that has grown big at sea. Coarse fish cannot be replaced at the same speeds and grow slowly, do you not think it a strange coincidence that the rivers were devoid of big fish before otters died out, then all of a sudden they grew big and as the population of otters is increasing the fish are smaller again. Otters- Man and fish have existed in the UK exactly the same length of time give or take a few years, since the last glacial period, 10-000 years ago and expanded their numbers and range equally, at that time up to a couple hundred years ago mankind predated on otters heavily as they used its furs[prized] and hunting only as we know it for approx. the last 800 years!! Also most of you probably don't realise it was only the rivers of east Anglia that contained coarse fish after the ice age, all the other rivers and lakes were stocked by mans hand!!! So saying they have existed with fish and not man is simply wrong on all counts. We now have more otters in the UK then at any other time in the past 800years, Oh I here people say, that cannot be right I've never seen one, I have one thing to say. open those eyes and you will see. And I'm not talking highlands either. I would gladly guide anyone who wishes to see an otter when I in England, just give me a shout, in Dorset, Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Essex, Suffolk, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and I could quite possibly do it in a lot of other counties as well, the reason I mention them counties is I've seen so many otters in them its beyond a joke. Quite simply people do not notice them. I've seen them in stupid places like three rivers carp park Staines on Thames, the M25, M11, M3,M40, M4. I will add this, someone else said that no animal will just keep breeding, well they all do except for humans, we have the power to reason, and go to the chemist and get something for birth control, whereas all other animals do what they were born for, that is to reproduce. The limiting factors are predation, Starvation and disease, given that otters are relatively healthy, its predation or starvation that has to limit their numbers, starvation is NOT going to work, because Otters will eat fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Mammals, and birds, so they might run out of carp, but they have got to get into the millions before they wipe out everything else, it simply wont happen. As for the Hunting or anti hunting, that's not the issue, the issue to me is that certain wild animals need to be controlled one way or another, we have a DUTY of care for our environment and at the moment we are not delivering on that Duty, simply because there are to many Dewy eyed lovies out there. As I keep saying, I've had the best of it and I'm glad that its happening towards the end of my time and not the beginning.
  5. Otters, reality check.

    I am not going to quote people directly so as not to offend but I will say I have read some stinky winky when it comes to otters. Lets get some facts straight from someone[me] who has owned otters, hunted otters, watched otters in the wild and finally been on the receiving end of otters. Otter numbers in the UK crashed because their prey was contaminated with chemicals leached into the rivers, just like birds of prey crashed by eating contaminated birds. When the contamination had gone and the otters got back to normal fertility they were able to breed correctly and feed themselves on clean fish. This and the fact that many otters had been released into the wild boosted their numbers rapidly. Otters do not have natural predators in the UK so nothing controls there numbers and regardless of what people tell you NO animal can go to the chemist and buy a pack of nob socks to control its birth rate, they simply breed and increase in number until disease or starvation wipes them out. Man used to keep there numbers in check and before that it was higher predators that don't exist anymore and never will regardless of what some would have you believe. So were have a population of otters with no predator and they are working their way through various species in the Uk, but not just any species of animals. You see they are a higher carnivore that is basically a very large ferret/polecat. A weasel preys on mouse to rat sized critters, a Stoat on rat to rabbit sized, the reason? well its down to energy expenditure, picture yourself try to catch a mouse, its small but very slow and is difficult for us to get in touch with, yet a football 100 times bigger and traveling 10 times faster is easy for us to catch. Same with carnivores, so an otter is not going to try and catch 1-10 oz roach when it can catch a 10lb carp easier and get more to eat out of it, likewise its not going to grab a reed bunting if a mallard is available. The Lochs in the highlands used to contain big trout and now don't, the reason is simple, they used to have Zero tolerance on Otters, that is Game keepers, Ghillies, Farmers as all knew what they were dealing with, now as the otter numbers have increased the number of such people has crashed and they are watched! so the otters eat all the big fish in a loch and move on, overland eating whatever they come to, until they find another loch with big trout. People talk about territory ect and its all bunkum, their territory only exists in the females with young and its nowhere near as big as stated, the river Thurso up here is 26 miles long and at one stage had 12 active females with young. When it come to rivers with Salmon or Sea trout, its about the most self levelling system going, the otter has to work to catch the Salmon, but its got great food once caught, the following day another salmon has taken its place, same with the put and take reservoirs, as trout are eaten they are replaced, but at the same time a lot of the big reservoirs are not predated heavily as the otters struggle in the big expanses, preferring to hit them in mid winter ant take the larger more sluggish inhabitants, such as carp. As for the chalk streams, I know the Test Itchen etc well and the otters DO NOT get free roaming passes, Ill say no more and if they raid a section they simply replace the fish out of the stew ponds. Fencing lakes is not a 100% answer, please look at some of my previous posts from years gone past, I stupidly lost my fish to otters because I did not fence routinely, I then fenced everything with wire and electric and I thought that was that! . A few years ago I bred from some pure Leney fish that were VERY old and in the process they died, but I had the offspring, the following year I Bred from some Commons that were originally stocked in the UK in the early 1900s and were the Biggest commons I know of. I bred from them so that I would have replacement fish for myself and as replacement stocks for certain historical waters. The fish have done well and would have left for their home waters except the powers to be decided to make me jump through hoops before they would let me, this was at the same time a ill health blighted me, so this winter they were still in their growing pond. Guess what, the otters have totally wiped them out, a gale blowing stuff about bridged the fence with a branch, the otters got in as a family and made short work of them and like all family groups they killed because they could easily and they ate very little. [ I now have the sad duty to tell some fishery owners and good friends to boot that their fish have been killed and there is nothing I can do about it. Finally- you can do what you like but you are not in charge of the weather, floods, snow, gales etc will all allow the ingress of otters, if people see it, hopefully something can be done, if they don't or a family group move in for a couple of days, by by fish. If there is one thing that will make me aggressive is someone trying to tell me what otters do or don't do etc, most live in cloud cuckoo land. End of sermon.
  6. Thought for the day.

    Lots of great untapped waters in Poland and they have the summers for fish to grow, hence the reason I spend so much time there now.
  7. Thought for the day.

    I have had a visit from the recently, not good, I think it might be time to call it quits and move my fish related things to Poland permanently.
  8. There were two separate breeders/ kennels that produce dogs that became known as Labrador retrievers, one in Scotland [Duke Buccleugh] the other in South of England [ Earl Malmesbury], later joined by a third in Scotland[earl Home], these laid the foundations for the breed. Shame that the fantastic dog they developed has been spoiled by modern breeders. I have photographs somewhere of myself as a young boy sitting with a brace of Golden Labs in the kennels of Earl Malmesbury in Hampshire, I've also fished there. I have hunted and fished on the Buccleugh estates, Its a small world we live in when it comes to fishing/shooting and hunting.
  9. I have seen a 53, that looked absolutely massive, something over 20lb heavier would be unbelievable. Big pike like perch always seem to look bigger for some reason.
  10. 12 days of Christmas.

    Merry Christmas to you all, enjoy;
  11. Ghosties and Koi Harder to Catch?

    Yes their habits do change once angled for, I did write a piece on here about my experiments on this a while ago. I found some fish NEVER returned to a spot where they were captured.
  12. I'm sorry, I don't know the answer.
  13. Interesting but the answer is no not loch Awe, loch Awe 14 square miles is a lot smaller than the Loch I was fishing, Corrib is 68 square miles.
  14. Ghosties and Koi Harder to Catch?

    Don't be they are nothing but a nightmare.