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View Full Version : Otter vs. Trout, who will win out!


whitefeather
02-07-2011, 09:31 PM
I am renewing the post on otters from a different angle. Because the problem is affecting the Smokie Mountain streams we fish, I am posting it on this thread.

This past Sunday I was going over the posts on the Fly Fishing for Trout in Other States thread by John, JSWITOW. I went through from start to finish very much interested because I had fished Snowbird a couple of years ago in April on a trip over from Tellico Plains where we were staying. The last post was by Jim Casada and it reads:

Jswitow--Don't know whether you've noticed it, but my sources in Graham County (and they are local fishermen who are as good as they get) tell me that otters are playing the devil with the lake run fish. My best fishing buddy says they have gotten increasingly worse for years and that he often sees them on the opposite bank right below the "doctors" bridge. I have no doubt at all they are a factor, and in all likelihood a significant factor.
Jim Casada

Jim's post reminded me that I had intended to do some research on otter hunting and trapping in NC, specifically in Graham county.

I don't want to come off as another "****ed yankee" sticking my nose into the business of you southern ladies and gentlemen, so I will politely state that I have spent nearly half my life in the South, have loved every minute of it, my family originated in NC, and I have kept up my hunting, trapping, and fishing non-resident license and subscribe to the NCWRC newsletter and other publications, so I do have somewhat of a vested interest in what's going on down there.

I began my research from the starting point: What man made factors might keep the otter in check and possibly alleviate any fears that this bugger is going to completely take over the wild streams of NC, with the demise of the trout as a result. Who for instance is trapping or hunting these guys and when are legal seasons, regs, fur prices, etc.

From the Feb. 2011 report by the North American Fur Auction (NAFA) I see there has been no activity for otter pelts. Coyote, mink, and beaver pelt prices are up with high percentages of buying. No activity reported for otter.

This is what is disturbing to me. There was mention of a NAFA fee charged to pelt sellers for otter which amounted to about $2 per pelt.

Listed below I found:

"General Trapping Restrictions (NCWRC 2010-2011 regs)

It is unlawful to:
● Sell or otherwise transfer ownership of the carcass or pelt of
a bobcat or otter without first tagging it with the appropriate
tag available from the Wildlife Resources Commission. The fee
is $2.20 for each bobcat or otter tag. You may purchase these
tags by telephone, (888) 248-6834, using a VISA or MasterCard
credit card, or you can mail your request along with the fee to:
NCWRC, Bobcat/Otter Tags, 1707 Mail Service Center, Raleigh,
NC 27699-1707. Include your name, address, date of birth and
WRC number. NOTE: All bobcat and otter fur must be tagged
within 10 days of the close of the applicable season."

That's another $2.20 per pelt.

I'm not real sure about shooting the critters with a .22 because of the regs concerning "dumping". On private property they are supposed to disposed of by burying I believe. The regs are quite lengthy and confusing on a first read.

With the above mentioned fees in mind, I would be spending at least $4.20 per pelt/tag just to sell them not to mention other expenses or the hassle. With seemingly no market as mentioned by NAFA's report, why would anyone bother?

I guess a person could take a .22 pistol (season specific, area specific) with them trout fishing and pop off a few of the buggers if they showed up, but then they might be in jeopardy for "dumping" them, in or near, the stream. Please correct me if I am wrong, as I have not gone over the regs like a law review clerk as yet.

Years ago I was an avid trapper; my niche was muskrat. I generally made $700-800 (1979) a week so it was worth my trouble. Sometimes I caught 50 to 75 rats, twice each day, mornings and evenings. Things went great for a number of years, then we started having warm winters, and the bottom fell out. The animals were not "furring out" well and the Canadians simply swooped up the market. Pelt prices dropped to less than a dollar each for large pelts and mere pennies for the smaller ones. Hardly worth it! My traps have been hanging from the rafters every since.

With what I have been able to turn up on the subject of otters, it looks like the situation with them is bound to boil over soon. It would seem that there just isn't enough impetuous to pursue a course of legal mitigation for their increasing numbers to date.

Whitefeather
_________________________________________________
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!:smile:

buzzmcmanus
02-08-2011, 09:10 AM
On 01/29/11 in South Pittsburg, TN, 27 otters sold for an average price of $35.24 and a high price of $55.00. I'm not sure about N.C. data. You would have to pay me way more than $1.70 to skin a skunk!!!

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u51/buzzmcmanus/furprices.jpg

Jim Casada
02-08-2011, 09:23 AM
Whitefeather--I talked to a couple of folks who work for the NCWRC about otters. They are basically aware of the fact that they have a proble on their hands. Of course, after otters causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage in some of their hatcheries it would be difficult not to have awareness. The state has extended the length of the trapping season for otters, but as you rightly point out, they have also made it a bureaucratic headache.
I do know, specifically in Graham County, that some otters have died of lead poisoning without any reference to season or anything else. I'm not condoning it but I certainly understand this approach. If I owned land where otters emptied out a pond overnight and I caught them in the act I'm not at all sure I would wait for all the proper depredation permits (and I can't imagine any jury convicting someone in such circumstances).
It's a mess and one which is getting worse. What intrigues me is that as recently as two years ago many wildlife officials were in denial as regards this problem, and the same was true of a number of folks on this and other forums. I don't think there's much doubt in anyone's mind today that there's a big, and potentially huge, problem.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

whitefeather
02-08-2011, 02:09 PM
Jim,

Just in reading the regs I get the impression that the otters are being treated as a defacto protected species.

The fact that options for the sale of their pelts is limited in WNC to just a few outlets and are "taxed" ($2.20 tag each, which you must have when removing them) and another $2.00 each at the fur buyers, are conclusive statements spoken in actions, not words.

If I trapped 100 otters in a week, I would have to pay $220 in "tax" just to take the pelts off the property where I trapped them or where I processed them and another $200 (Feb 2011 report) when they were auctioned, if they were auctioned.

This would explain why a good trapping season in terms of pelt prices this past year, that brought in very good prices for other furbearing animals, did not in fact do the same for otter pelts. No one wants to deal with them and the apparent hassle of dealing with WRC.

I would actually consider coming down there to trap otters, if I could get some help from locals, identifying problem areas and their permssion to do so on their land, but only if I could make enough money to pay expenses.

This would be a great opportunity, as I am retired now, and would also serve as a way to do more fishing and learn the lay of the land better as well. I have many years of dealing with buearacrats both federal and state, so my skin is still pretty thick. However, if there is no financial opportunity available, then it wouldn't be possible.

If some of you fellows down there could get me some more information, spread the word, or correct me as to my thinking, I am inviting one and all to please do so on this forum. But, please give me reliable information sources that I can ckeck out so as to minimize efforts in setting up a plan.

Thanks to all who have responded!

Whitefeather
__________________________________________________ _
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled wateers to all!:smile:

buzzmcmanus
02-08-2011, 03:29 PM
NAFA didn't offer any otters in their January auction, but Fur Harvesters Auction Inc. did. They brought in an average of $42.38/pelt. You can expect a little less for southern furs. NAFA will start selling their otters in the February auction.

http://www.furharvesters.com/results/2011/jan11us.pdf

You don't have to sell them in WNC. Once you get your CITES tag ($2.50), you can bring them to TN and sell them ($35.24 average in Jan), or ship them to an auction house and pay their fees.

whitefeather
02-08-2011, 03:55 PM
NAFA didn't offer any otters in their January auction, but Fur Harvesters Auction Inc. did. They brought in an average of $42.38/pelt. You can expect a little less for southern furs. NAFA will start selling their otters in the February auction.

http://www.furharvesters.com/results/2011/jan11us.pdf

buzzmcmanus,

Thanks for the info! That puts a more positive spin on things. I'll look into it. Once, again thanks for your repsonse!

Whitefeather
_________________________________________________
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!:smile:

whitefeather
02-08-2011, 04:29 PM
Jim,

Here's a graphic pdf I found on NCWRC's website. I think you'll be very interested in it as it shows the range of otter in NC since 1955.

"A picture is worth a thousand words...."

http://www.ncwildlife.org/Trapping/Documents/Furbearer_Species_Maps/Otter_distribution_map.pdf

"In order to restore the river otter to its former range, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission released 49 river otters in the western part of the state from 1990-1995. River otters were also released in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Due to these restoration efforts, the otter population is now fully restored in North Carolina and considered abundant throughout the state. Because the United States signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in 1977, states must monitor the populations of river otters."

"In general, adult males range farther than adult females, and family groups and young otters have the smallest ranges of all. Males have been shown to move 10 to 16 kilometers in a single night. Although they are aquatic predators and live near water, they can move overland between watersheds."


Whitefeather
__________________________________________________
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!:smile:

Jim Casada
02-08-2011, 05:13 PM
Whitefeather--The truth of the matter, no matter how politically incorrect it may be, is that mountain folks of yesteryear worked hard (and successfully) to eradicate otters. They figured out that they were destructive enough that they wanted no part of them. In fact, I remember an old-timer saying in sheer amazement when the release in WNC took place: "We worked a hundred years to get rid of these fish killers and now you idiots want to bring them back!" Strong language, but when we reach a point where trout are in real trouble in the Park, he might begin to look pretty darn bright.
What will be really interesting to me, and I've said it before, is just what heads-in-the-sand Park officials do when the specks they have restored start to vanish.
Incidentally, speaking of specks, I got some pretty solid insight at the recent Fly Fishing Show in Raleigh (from an inside source) that some of the earlier speck restoration programs are looking a bit problematic. That is to say, they are finding rainbows in streams where antimycin was used, and I'm talking about wild 'bows, not products of bucket biology. That's another hornet's nest just waiting to be poked by a stick of reality.
It all worries me a great deal, because I simply cannot understand two things: (1) Killing wild fish and (2) Stocking an animal with the potential to do great damage to a project which is the focus of a great deal of money.
For my part, I'm on the side of the specks.

Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Dancing Bear
02-08-2011, 06:13 PM
Read my post in the "Gatlinburg DH??" thread about what my wife and I saw Sunday evening in Gatlinburg.

Mike

whitefeather
02-08-2011, 08:22 PM
Read my post in the "Gatlinburg DH??" thread about what my wife and I saw Sunday evening in Gatlinburg.

Mike,

I did just that and what you and wife saw simply underlines the problem.
Hopefully, in town the tourists will feed them enough junk food that their life span will be shortened considerably. Maybe some poison sardines....just sayin'.....

At any rate the critters in town will soon figure out (if they haven't already) that they have a protected corridor in which to operate.

If and when they get really brave and show up on opening day of trout season with all their kin in Gatlinburg's streams, then maybe some human with an ounce of sense somewhere will figure out they are more of a liability, than an endearing attraction for the tourists.

I don't go near Gatlinburg, its too much like Nashville, In where I live and in October have to deal with a million nutty tourists every fall weekend.


Whitefeather
_________________________________________________
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!:smile:

Jim Casada
02-08-2011, 09:07 PM
Mike--I read your post and frankly, it doesn't surprise me. I began seeing otters on lower Deep Creek a decade or so back, and I'm talking about in the section outside the Park where there are houses and campsites all along the banks. The otters don't seem to care and they stroll by almost unconcerned (and all too often with a trout in their mouth).
Jim Casada

doghaircaddis
02-08-2011, 09:58 PM
This thread brings to mind an episode of The Heartland Series which documented the release of several otters into Abrams Creek...late 80's or early 90's. Sure hasn't taken long for the population to re-establish.

Jim Casada
02-09-2011, 08:57 AM
doghaircaddis--Not only have they re-established, they have succeeded in completely wiping out the browns in Abrams Creek. Where there were once huge browns in the stream, today there are none whatsoever. Other factors could enter the picture, including drought, but I have to believe that the number one culprit is otters.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

CinciVol
02-09-2011, 10:16 AM
I realize it is conjecture, but does anyone have a guess about what kept the "otter problem" in check back before folks (settlers or native) took care of the issue with hunting/trapping? I assume there were specks and otters in the mountains back in time forgotten and I assume that there was some sort of natural balance going on otherwise there would have been no specks left. Were there other, non-human, predators (like the moutnain lions folks have been discussing here) that kept the otters in check? Were the trout only confined to waters that are otter unfriendly (high elevation, high relief)? Were natural conditions worse for otters then (are they better suited for "disturbed conditions" of todays secondary forests versus the virgin forests)?

Crockett
02-09-2011, 11:59 AM
I realize it is conjecture, but does anyone have a guess about what kept the "otter problem" in check back before folks (settlers or native) took care of the issue with hunting/trapping? I assume there were specks and otters in the mountains back in time forgotten and I assume that there was some sort of natural balance going on otherwise there would have been no specks left. Were there other, non-human, predators (like the moutnain lions folks have been discussing here) that kept the otters in check? Were the trout only confined to waters that are otter unfriendly (high elevation, high relief)? Were natural conditions worse for otters then (are they better suited for "disturbed conditions" of todays secondary forests versus the virgin forests)?

Well Indians hunted otters I am sure but even if there were no people at all the balance would still be struck. The otters will kill out most or all of the fish I suspect then you would be left with a bunch of otters and not much food so many of them would die of starvation and the fish would come back. When the fish came back so would the otter population. Probably see saws for some time before a good balance occurs. People play a part in the balance but even without us eventually nature would take care of the problem with or without us. Always has and always will. Ultimately its the fisherman who suffers whilst no one else will probably ever notice the pendulum swinging back and forth from trout to otter and back.

JohnH0802
02-09-2011, 12:09 PM
I thought some of you might find the following interesting. It is a quote out of a book first published in 1653, Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler, and it is about otters:

"Pisc. Sir, my fortune has answered my desires; and my purpose is to bestow a day or two in helping to destroy some of those villainous vermin; for I hate them perfectly, because they love fish so well, or rather, because they destroy so much; oh indeed, so much that in my judgment, all men that keep otter-dogs ought to have pensions from the King to encourage them to destroy the very breed of those base otters, they do so much mischief.

Pisc. I am, Sir, a Brother of the Angle, and therefore an enemy to the otter: for you are to note that we Anglers all love one another, and therefore do I hate the otter, both for my own and their sakes who are of my brotherhood."

Jim Casada
02-09-2011, 01:20 PM
John--Great! I have read Walton (although he has not weathered well through the centuries except for snippets here and there) and occasionally use him in seminars. However, I had completely forgotten about his detestation of otters. Thanks for the reminder, and it is likely something I will use in the future.
Jim Casada

whitefeather
02-09-2011, 02:09 PM
From an earlier post of mine quoting NCWRC's website:

"In order to restore the river otter to its former range, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission released 49 river otters in the western part of the state from 1990-1995. River otters were also released in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Due to these restoration efforts, the otter population is now fully restored in North Carolina and considered abundant throughout the state. Because the United States signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in 1977, states must monitor the populations of river otters."

"Monitoring" probably entails more than just "watching and counting", if you read the fine print, I am afraid.

Anytime the federal government signs on to an international treaty, they buy into all the little quirks contained therein, and obligate and pressure the states to fulfill them, mostly with the threat of with holding federal money from the state. Often the "devil is in the details" and the facts aren't discovered till its too late.

I would bet the liberal eco-nuts' view of meddling in all affairs environmental with regards to species in everybody's backyard was paramount in the restoration effort of the otter, apparently a well known and destructive pest as described and recorded from hundreds of years ago.

I would imagine the park management (being federal) felt the "heat" from this, as well as, went along with it to satisfy their own "god complex".

If the otter is such an efficient proliferator, why not just wait for it to happen naturally, and prepare for it. Instead they just lit a fuse to a time bomb that won't easily be defused in the near future.

I'm still doing research, trying to find official estimates of otter numbers vs. the number of licensed trappers (which I have) per NC county but only concentrating on just the counties in the western pan handle of the state. At best it looks like a stale mate and at worse looks like doom as of now.

The eco-nuts actually do not want any fish in park waters just as they are trying in California to get wildlife officials to poison off all of the trout there, so that crustaceans will come back in good health. How they believe any of this nonsense is beyond me. They have been trying to get fishing banned using a myriad of ridiculous excuses every since I can remember.

FishNHunt
02-13-2011, 05:53 AM
White feather. Get a boat and call at the start of next years trapping season. I can put you on more otters than you wish to fool with. I'll help you work them and I'll take care of the selling part. I've was never charged the $2.20 to sell my hides. I just took them to the sell and the warden tagged them and I put them on the sale table.

As bad as I hate to say this the problem actually isn't the otter it's self. Its man and his unquenchable desire to dabble with playing God. The fact is that men worked their entire lives for centuries to remove any creature that was in compition with them. Now that man has "hired killers" to end the life of any meat that they eat they feel it's time to rewrite history and right the wrongs. Man cannot place an (any) apex predator into an area where it will live an unnatural number of years unmolested.
I am sure that I will be labeled as a Park hater with my next remarks but, quite the contrary is true.
The park with all the good that it does actually is NOT a natural environment. Why, because man interferes in one way or another at some point. The deer in Cades Cove are small because of inbreeding. The browse line on the trees is evident to even the most untrained eye. The reason being is there are no predators to control the numbers. Man took them out years ago. Red wolves were introduced but it was a failure. Coyotes and bear may possibly kill a few fawns every year but, I don't see the number of coyotes in Cades Cove like one would expect. Why is this I wonder? The same will become of the otters. They have no predator to control their numbers. Man has stepped in as the predator for these animals. Like it or not it's the truth. We can't simply in one or two generations expect to reverse 10's of thousands of years of persecution of apex predators. It's not possible. We as humans have rewrote the evolution of certain creatures and for the most part it's not in a good way.
In Idaho and Montana where the wolves were reintroduced it's become not only a problem for humans but, the elk and deer as well. These herbivores have not saw predators like this in 100s of years and all the sudden they are expected to adapt or die. They have evolved into the dominate animal of there environment and only have humans to fear. Well, my friends they are dying... by the thousands. Before to long there won't be any elk or deer to prey on and then what. We revert back to eradication.
Wolves, mountain lions and otters make their living by eating. They have not got the ability to reason. They don't have the luxury of a grocery store. Can there be a happy medium with the otters? I believe that there can in areas where they are either trapped or hunted and kept at a population that the environment can handle. Slowly acclimating all the creatures to the new predator.

pineman19
02-13-2011, 07:32 AM
White feather. Get a boat and call at the start of next years trapping season. I can put you on more otters than you wish to fool with. I'll help you work them and I'll take care of the selling part. I've was never charged the $2.20 to sell my hides. I just took them to the sell and the warden tagged them and I put them on the sale table.

As bad as I hate to say this the problem actually isn't the otter it's self. Its man and his unquenchable desire to dabble with playing God. The fact is that men worked their entire lives for centuries to remove any creature that was in compition with them. Now that man has "hired killers" to end the life of any meat that they eat they feel it's time to rewrite history and right the wrongs. Man cannot place an (any) apex predator into an area where it will live an unnatural number of years unmolested.
I am sure that I will be labeled as a Park hater with my next remarks but, quite the contrary is true.
The park with all the good that it does actually is NOT a natural environment. Why, because man interferes in one way or another at some point. The deer in Cades Cove are small because of inbreeding. The browse line on the trees is evident to even the most untrained eye. The reason being is there are no predators to control the numbers. Man took them out years ago. Red wolves were introduced but it was a failure. Coyotes and bear may possibly kill a few fawns every year but, I don't see the number of coyotes in Cades Cove like one would expect. Why is this I wonder? The same will become of the otters. They have no predator to control their numbers. Man has stepped in as the predator for these animals. Like it or not it's the truth. We can't simply in one or two generations expect to reverse 10's of thousands of years of persecution of apex predators. It's not possible. We as humans have rewrote the evolution of certain creatures and for the most part it's not in a good way.
In Idaho and Montana where the wolves were reintroduced it's become not only a problem for humans but, the elk and deer as well. These herbivores have not saw predators like this in 100s of years and all the sudden they are expected to adapt or die. They have evolved into the dominate animal of there environment and only have humans to fear. Well, my friends they are dying... by the thousands. Before to long there won't be any elk or deer to prey on and then what. We revert back to eradication.
Wolves, mountain lions and otters make their living by eating. They have not got the ability to reason. They don't have the luxury of a grocery store. Can there be a happy medium with the otters? I believe that there can in areas where they are either trapped or hunted and kept at a population that the environment can handle. Slowly acclimating all the creatures to the new predator.

Very well said sir. Glad to see that someone is willing to dive into the heart of the matter instead of just looking at the issue as how it pertains to their "special interests". I read where people are complaining about the wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park and how they are killing all the elk. I'm guessing the wolves didn't kill any elk before humans eliminated all the wolves at the beginning of the 20th century? I'll say no more about that. I agree that the Park isn't natural, there are very few natural areas left in the United States, in the world, for that matter.

For the record, I am not anti-hunting before that gets throw-ed in my face.

Neal

Crockett
02-13-2011, 10:24 AM
While I very much agree with most of what you say Fishnhunt I will say the park is very much a natural environment. Humans are the only creature that God gave higher intelligence to and we are dominant over all the other creatures because of that. Unfortunately with that higher intelligence we often make mistakes (aka otter reintroduction). But humans have been moving animals from one place to another for thousands of years, killing off some species we didn't like and domesticating still others. If humans moving an animal somewhere or killing off existing animals makes it not a natural environment anymore then all natural evironments were gone thousands of years ago. It may take a few hundred years but the otter thing will balance out as all things do. As smart as we are we can't outsmart God and as much as we like to think we are playing God its intersting to me that no matter what mistakes we make they seem to be washed away with the hand of time or God.

Knik
02-13-2011, 07:17 PM
Whitefeather, here in Tenn. the "Cites" tag is free, and TWRA are almost always at our sales to tag cats and otters.

Otter prices were around $100.00 - $200.00 several years back, they wanted the pale ones from West Tn. and farther south. Most of the otter in the mountainous regions are darker and get paler the farther East and West you go. Prices dropped off to about $30.00 and now are on a slight rise, but as you know, there has to be a market demand to bring the traps off the barn walls. Fact is, trappers numbers are declining as with hunters and fishermen. That's why youth programs are so important.

NAFA only carries about 1/3-1/2 of all fur from the U.S., but they like for trappers to think they are the big dog. Local sales are with "country" buyers, and alot of ours will steal it if they can, not all...... but most.

The otter market dropped out because of the Dalli LLama and the Chinese, think Peta got to the Dalli LLama and the Chinese was a customes issue. The Chinese couldn't tell the difference between a "sea otter" and a "river otter", you would think the Cites permit would have fixed that. Atleast that was the case when the market fell out.

I still say trappers are the best management tool that the local agencies have at their disposal, they just need to figure out how to use them and work with them better. Only a small number of folks that trap will target otters and for a limited number of days at that, we all have families and time constraints etc. etc......

The best thing you guys can do as individuals is to get a local trapper permission on some of these waters, your state trapping org. can help you get in touch with someone near you. If you do so, please ask for one that has good trapping ethics, seems to be a bad apple in every basket these days.

just my 2 cents...... again

whitefeather
02-13-2011, 08:06 PM
Fishnhunt, Pineman19, Crockett, Knik,

Thanks guys for your inputs! I think we all pretty much agree. Fishnhunt, I will be in touch with you when the next season is approaching. Email me at rikwhiteffeather@yahoo.com. If I only make enough to break even and pay expenses, that's fine! I am retired and don't have to worry about a time clock anymore.

All have made excellent points about the otter and the problems lying with man. I have gathered some statistics and this past year, in the 22 more western counties of NC, they were only 74 licensed trappers. Probably not all of them very active at any one time. Other stats on estimated otter numbers forth coming, but it doesn't look at this point, that there are enough trappers (given the success factor) to actually keep up with otter proliferation. Otters usually have between 2 - 5 young each year. Using 3 as an average based on a projected population of 1000 in any given county, and an average of 3. 6 trappers, they're not going to make much of a dent in the population as it goes.

Thanks for any and all input you have given or can give in the future. Maybe I will not be able to help out all that much with the problem, but, I am willing to try and give it my best. It's a way to give something back for the enjoyment I have had down there in the park and other places in NC.

The situation is what it is, natural or interfered with, however, I don't think any of us want to live with the consequences, waiting for nature to overcome it alone. She sometimes moves slowly, especially to achieve the balance that once was. Man as a predator must be put back into the equation as part of the solution vs. man being part of the problem. The otter will eventually decimate the fisheries and move on or die off, but then the fish will be gone too, and who's to say that the folly won't be repeated.

Osiyo my friends

gutshot
02-20-2011, 09:08 PM
So if the otter eat all the trout and other fish they starve to death. If they cut back on the population of fish as a whole then more aquatic insects survive to reproduce and then there is more biomass in the rivers and streams. The remaining fish have more to eat and grow larger?

Bran
02-21-2011, 02:53 PM
Start tying up some 4-6 inch rainbow imitation streamers, bring your 10 weight, and hang into an otter or two! I'll bet there's no law on the book that would stand up in court against that one, at least not yet.http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif

Streamhound
02-21-2011, 03:41 PM
I already claim that the otters got em while I was retrieving them :biggrin: It sound like a better story than they broke off

Knothead
02-22-2011, 07:34 PM
For all you trout anglers, I just thought of something in regard to otter movements- could they spread didymo/rocksnot?
they can move overland between watersheds
We have them in the Hiwassee and I have seen them around Towee Creek. I know of one guy who had them swimming around him- made him a bit uneasy as they have sharp teeth.
Whatever- there is no easy answer or solution.