Urban Otters..

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oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
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Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
I think Rumi's pictures confirm suspicions my grandson and I had that we had seen otter tracks on the Ray at Islip, just upstream from Oxford. Other evidence is hearsay that fishermen had found fish remains on river bank with just soft part eaten. Thank you Rumi.
 

Rumi

New Member
I havent been posting fish kills at all, but otters are not wasteful eaters and will devour the whole fish if undisturbed. Theyt start with the soft parts and work their way to the rest of the flesh. In the main they are eating Signal Crayfish, rats, mink, ducks and other water fowl. @oldtimer I would really appreciate some GPS coordinates of where you have seen them, as your otter will probably border the one I track.
 

oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
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Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
Rumi: Co-ordinates of possible Otter signs seen near Islip are :- N 51 49.219' W 01 13.573 or OS SP 53327/13353. Signs were where a field drain culvert meets the River Ray just after a field gate. I visited yesterday but saw no further evidence apart from one possible paw print. Another old boy who has lived here for years cited clear evidence of mink sitings where the Ray and Cherwell converge. He also mentioned that there are plenty of crayfish in the river but reckoned there are no fish. We do get anglers from time to time so they must be coming for something. I'll keep looking and let you know I get any better evidence. Sorry for the delay in replying, but I only re-visited this thread at the weekend.
 

Bushwhacker

Banned
Jun 26, 2008
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As part of their diet, otters will only eat certain parts of a fish at times.
They will go for the blood rich organs and not touch anything else.
 

Bushwhacker

Banned
Jun 26, 2008
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Thank you, do you know when?

Usually to make up for deficiencies in its diet. Their main target fish are the smaller 'insignificant' species such as bullhead or minnow. They spend a lot of time scrabbling under rocks and pebbles to search for them - hence their short, worn down claws - they'll take large fish when the opportunity presents itself, but in open water the cruising speed of a big fish is top speed for an otter and a lot of energy will be wasted attempting to catch one. Another reason why eels are a favourite food - they're slow and easy to catch. I'm not saying they won't eat a whole fish, but at times they don't need to. Neither are they likely to return to a part eaten one as they only feed on fresh food.
 

Bushwhacker

Banned
Jun 26, 2008
3,882
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Dorset
If i could I would "like" your last entry.
Seems the otters have eaten all the big carp round here. It's mainly vests they are eating nowy

Vests? Haha!
They will take them if the opportunity presents itself. This could include 'herding' them into reeds or shallow water. Carp aren't as quick as a trout.

Do you find many remains of big carp and do you have many Eastern Europeans there?
 
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Bushwhacker

Banned
Jun 26, 2008
3,882
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Dorset
*vests should be crays.. darn spellcheck snuck up....

There have been some polish poachers, and report of an otter shot further north....

I believe that the explosion of crays has gone a long way into helping the numbers - A very significant amount of spraints that I find in my survey area contain them. Not good news about the shooting. Fishery owners need only take a few cheap preventative measures to deter them. I'll post something up about that tomorrow. I could rattle on for a long time about lots of things but I'm not so good at typing it all out coherently enough.
 

Rumi

New Member
I believe that the explosion of crays has gone a long way into helping the numbers - A very significant amount of spraints that I find in my survey area contain them. Not good news about the shooting. Fishery owners need only take a few cheap preventative measures to deter them. I'll post something up about that tomorrow. I could rattle on for a long time about lots of things but I'm not so good at typing it all out coherently enough.

I agree on all 3 points.
 

Bushwhacker

Banned
Jun 26, 2008
3,882
5
Dorset
I agree on all 3 points.
Hahaha.

Anyway, here's some otter proof measures around a fishing lake that had a problem - mesh fence with a low electric fence on the outside.
Considering the cost of those ghastly 'prize' carp, it's not a great deal.

30012012863-2.jpg


30012012862-2.jpg
 

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