First Otter

bobmiddlepoint

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Exactly, those Otters that are seen feeding on the coast of these islands do infact habitat the lochs, they will move between them to feed on the rich food that the sea produces, and back to the fresh water lochs for to clean and drink and there holts, hence the sign in your photo there Col, otters on the move.

They also tend, on Uist at least, to prefer brackish lochs and a diet of flounders. Of course they do take trout but not that often. Time and again I've seen otters fishing in tidal lochs full of finnock & sea trout but they always go for the flounders.

About the only time otters on Uist really target salmonids is during spawning when they do follow them up onto the redds. I pointed this out to a Uist gamekeeper once and he asked how many spawning salmon and sea trout I'd seen killed on the redds that year. I told him about 6 salmon and a dozen big sea trout. His response to this was one of horror and what can we do about it? My answer was get the rods to return an extra 6 salmon and a dozen big sea trout each season. He just looked at me like I was from another planet, the only answer that he could see was to kill otters - ingrained stupid gamekeeper (not) thinking syndrome!

Ah well...
 

Vermontdrifter

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Saw otters a few times in the US and those were always magical times but none since I’ve been on this side of the pond. Snakes on the other hand I have seen. Couple of years back I was kneeling down to net a brown when a three or four foot grass snake darted between my knees and into the stream! There was a lot of movement in a very short time with all three participants heading in different directions very rapidly!!! For some reason I’m always nervous when I fish that spot.
 

boorod

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They also tend, on Uist at least, to prefer brackish lochs and a diet of flounders. Of course they do take trout but not that often. Time and again I've seen otters fishing in tidal lochs full of finnock & sea trout but they always go for the flounders.

About the only time otters on Uist really target salmonids is during spawning when they do follow them up onto the redds. I pointed this out to a Uist gamekeeper once and he asked how many spawning salmon and sea trout I'd seen killed on the redds that year. I told him about 6 salmon and a dozen big sea trout. His response to this was one of horror and what can we do about it? My answer was get the rods to return an extra 6 salmon and a dozen big sea trout each season. He just looked at me like I was from another planet, the only answer that he could see was to kill otters - ingrained stupid gamekeeper (not) thinking syndrome!

Ah well...
Always the same attitude with most gamekeepers, shoot and kill everything, that dont make their estate keepers money.
 

BobP

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Always the same attitude with most gamekeepers, shoot and kill everything, that dont make their estate keepers money.
I think you need to justify that. How many is "most"? Where? When? Kill everything? What is everything?

That sounds like a typical Guardian-inspired comment based on nothing more than lofty ignorance and prejudice.
 

bobmiddlepoint

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I think you need to justify that. How many is "most"? Where? When? Kill everything? What is everything?

That sounds like a typical Guardian-inspired comment based on nothing more than lofty ignorance and prejudice.

Or maybe first hand experience of living around gamekeepers...
 

BobP

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Or maybe first hand experience of living around gamekeepers...
I think that having spent every winter bar three since 1973 either beating or picking up on estate shoots in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire gives me a pretty good insight into the type of person who goes into gamekeeping and it is nothing like boorod's allegation.

In fact, one large shoot I regularly attend has had owl boxes set up around the estate, some of them right in the middle of 6 partridge drives. Damaged game that the game dealer can't use are put out for the kites and buzzards to eat, and there are plenty of those in this area. That same estate now has more miles of hedgerow than at any time since the turn of the last century and they have cleared an area of woodland that is not shot over as an area to encourage nightjars.
 

billy fish

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Last evening sea trouting I saw an Otter a couple of times as well as a beaver . I was just moving in to fish the tail of a favourite pool where I disturbed a beaver that went off with a big slap of the tail. I moved on and a few pools down saw an Otter . It went under a tree just upstream and stayed there until I left . I could hear it breathing in the still of the night.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I think that having spent every winter bar three since 1973 either beating or picking up on estate shoots in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire gives me a pretty good insight into the type of person who goes into gamekeeping and it is nothing like boorod's allegation.

In fact, one large shoot I regularly attend has had owl boxes set up around the estate, some of them right in the middle of 6 partridge drives. Damaged game that the game dealer can't use are put out for the kites and buzzards to eat, and there are plenty of those in this area. That same estate now has more miles of hedgerow than at any time since the turn of the last century and they have cleared an area of woodland that is not shot over as an area to encourage nightjars.
And so, your local anecdote proves what is reflected throughout the British Isles then, does it?

https://waronwildlife.co.uk/2020/07/21/three-gamekeepers-suspended-over-killing-of-goshawk/#:~:text=The media stories triggered by,– we discuss this below).

:rolleyes:
 

Wee Jimmy

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I think that having spent every winter bar three since 1973 either beating or picking up on estate shoots in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire gives me a pretty good insight into the type of person who goes into gamekeeping and it is nothing like boorod's allegation.

In fact, one large shoot I regularly attend has had owl boxes set up around the estate, some of them right in the middle of 6 partridge drives. Damaged game that the game dealer can't use are put out for the kites and buzzards to eat, and there are plenty of those in this area. That same estate now has more miles of hedgerow than at any time since the turn of the last century and they have cleared an area of woodland that is not shot over as an area to encourage nightjars.
Bob....Sit on yer arse ffs....:rolleyes:
 

Cap'n Fishy

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In fact, one large shoot I regularly attend has had owl boxes set up around the estate, some of them right in the middle of 6 partridge drives. Damaged game that the game dealer can't use are put out for the kites and buzzards to eat, and there are plenty of those in this area. That same estate now has more miles of hedgerow than at any time since the turn of the last century and they have cleared an area of woodland that is not shot over as an area to encourage nightjars.
Owls... not much danger to game, methinks...
Kites... largely scavengers - little danger to game...
Buzzards... maybe a pheasant poult... but let's be honest, just as happy with carrion, some worms and a vole or two...

However...

Hen harriers

Goshawks

White-tailed eagles

Golden eagles

Hmmm... if not gamekeepers, then who??? :unsure:

Do you have many hen harriers and golden eagles on your estate, Bob?
 
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aenoon

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Owls... not much danger to game, methinks...
Kites... largely scavengers - little danger to game...
Buzzards... maybe a pheasant poult... but let's be honest, just as happy with carrion, some worms and a vole or two...

However...

Hen harriers

Goshawks

White-tailed eagles

Golden eagles

Hmmm... if not gamekeepers, then who??? :unsure:

Do you have many hen harriers and golden eagles on your estate, Bob?
Is easy to point the finger at gamekeepers re those iconic species demise, but is not always proven was any estates fault. However, are many many more species they legally control that cause more damage to our wildlife populations.
Mink. Magpies. Crows. Foxes. etc, etc.
Sure, they only do it to try to protect the game they keep, but the knock on effect for other wildlife is immense, and has been proven to be the case.
regards
Bert
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Is easy to point the finger at gamekeepers re those iconic species demise, but is not always proven was any estates fault. However, are many many more species they legally control that cause more damage to our wildlife populations.
Mink. Magpies. Crows. Foxes. etc, etc.
Sure, they only do it to try to protect the game they keep, but the knock on effect for other wildlife is immense, and has been proven to be the case.
regards
Bert
Mink - yes, as it has no place in our British countryside. Magpies, crows, foxes - totally disagree. They are part of our nature and have as much right as you and I to be here. If a farmer wants to control foxes, it's because foxes are eating his chickens. Is no fault of the fox - simply is because he is in conflict with the farmer. If you want to kill foxes because they eat farmed chickens, fair enough, but don't try and say it's because the fox is damaging wildlife, because that is utter bollox. The fox is part of wildlife, as is the magpie and the crow. If we were not here, they would all be doing just fine, living with each other and all the other species.
 
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aenoon

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Mink - yes, as it has no place in our British countryside. Magpies, crows, foxes - totally disagree. They are part of our nature and have as much right as you and I to be here. If a farmer wants to control foxes, it's because foxes are eating his chickens. Is no fault of the fox - simply is because he is in conflict with the farmer. If you want to kill foxes because they eat farmed chickens, fair enough, but don't try and say it's because the fox is damaging wildlife, because that is utter bollox. The fox is part of wildlife, as is the magpie and the crow. If we were not here, they would all being doing just fine, living with each other and all the other species.
I agree with that entirely.
Wildlife in the raw, and all that.
However, we are here, we interfere.
Thing is though, where we reduce the aforementioned predators, those down the pyramid survive, and multiply.
The ones people like to see!
regards
Bert
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I agree with that entirely.
Wildlife in the raw, and all that.
However, we are here, we interfere.
Thing is though, where we reduce the aforementioned predators, those down the pyramid survive, and multiply.
The ones people like to see!
regards
Bert
Aye, we try to manipulate things to give us more of the ones we like to see (and the ones we want to kill for ourselves, such as grouse). The thing is though, predators are dong a natural and vital job. They are cleaning up the dead and dying, weeding out the old, the sick and the genetically feeble. If you don't weed out the genetically feeble, the gene pool of the species becomes ever more feeble. Individuals that (for the good of the species) should not breed do breed. If you remove the apex predator, the balance of the pyramid of numbers becomes unstable. The previous manager of Menteith used to net out the big pike. The place was full of jacks and small perch. Nowadays, the big pike are left to be, and the place is much healthier for it, with good numbers of coarse fish such as roach and dace, and few jacks and small perch.

Col
 

BobP

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Re you last sentence above, Bert. You should have added "and the ones the RSPB ignore."
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Our city otters...


Also got otters on the Water of Leith and on the Figgate Pond in Portobello. The figgate Pond has a big head of roach in it - and possibly no pike - so it is otter heaven!

Col
 

Here fishy fishy

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Sorry Zugbug I bet you never intended your post to get so "political".

Seeing any form of wildlife while fishing is always a bonus for me.

I don't hold with Falkus's view that you must catch fish. I have had many days when, after starting out on a days fishing, other things grab my attention. This could be nature, scenery, weather, whisky or, more likely, a mixture of all. I also normally have my autistic son with me who demands another kind of focus. Yes I do blank occasionally.

I well remember standing on the David Livingstone bridge over the river Clyde in Blantyre watching a marvellous run of salmon ascending the weir. All of a sudden an otter appeared at the top of the dam. "There's going to be carnage here" I said to a fellow watcher as we both observed it slide down the weir into a pool stuffed full of salmon. After about half a minute nothing much had happened apart from the usual salmon trying to jump the weir. Then out popped the otter at the tail of the pool, with it's prize, a mighty fresh run eel of about 9 inches in length. It happily munched away at this while all around Salar leapt instinctively. It done this twice before moving on.

It was a memorable event for me at the time. I've seen other things since just as remarkable but my point being the catching of a fish is not everything for me.

Incidentally where I live man didn't reintroduce the otter but he certainly tried to annihilate them.

They've always been here.

There are plenty things we should worry about viz., pollution, litter, high seas over fishing, global warming, urban sprawl, bad political decision making and covid 19 etc definitely not otters or some bird grabbing a fish.
 

Zugbug

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I’m cool with everything. Opinions nearly always run high on this forum which is a good thing, it means people care. Apathy over fishing and wildlife in general is the danger, not opinionated fishers.
A bit like politics at the moment, everyone is involved and interested one way or the other, it would be quite nice though if the extreme views on either side were trimmed and we could move to a centre ground with less abuse........now that’s me getting political😱.
 
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