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Old 02-05-2013, 04:10 PM
Don Kirk Don Kirk is offline
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Default Otter Destruction & more...

We’re headed east this weekend to the Fly Fishing Show in Winston-Salem, NC. Long 7-hour drive from the bowels of Bamaland. I plan to attach my fly vise to the steering wheel to help keep my hands and eyes busy, especially when bisecting Atlanta.
New issue of Southern Trout Magazine (February/March) is up at www.southerntrout.com. We came within four days of hitting the deadline. Either we hit it right for April, or floggings are in order.
Found this bit of otter new from the UK. Too cute.
A distraught couple was forced to remove 6,000 gallon pond from their garden after a hungry otter ate 200 prized fish worth $20,000. Linda and Alan Brown, both 60, owned the huge pond in Thetford, England that contained about 150 goldfish and 50 other fish, some weighing up to 25lbs
Children would feed the goldfish, koi carp, mirror carp and ghost carp, but when the couple returned home after a month-long visit to see their daughter in New Zealand last week they found that an otter had treated itself to a free meal. Half-eaten, rotting fish that were left sprawled on the decking around the pond, which has now been removed to avoid giving the otter any more to eat. The otter just ate the livers and the kidneys so it just left the carcasses of the fish all over the Brown’s garden and lawns of their neighbor.
Cheerio…
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:26 PM
narcodog narcodog is offline
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He left the best part to use as fertilizer in the garden. When I was a kid every carp we caught went into the neighbors flower garden
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:42 PM
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When apex predators are faced with an over abundance if prey, occasionally they will eat just the 'choice parts' and leave the rest. Oddly if you up the story on the daily mail, you can see a picture if the 'pond' in question, nothing more than a fancified kiddy pool full of koi. Dog food fed fish. In the wild, facing harsher conditions, I doubt an otter can wreak this kind of havoc. Usually the evidence of otter predation of fish consists of finding scales in their scat, consistent with whole prey consumption rather than just killing for choice pieces of meat. It is a little bit reckless to jump to the conclusion that this example is representative of the main modes of otter predation. It's kinda like the fat people at cicis pizza. Do they bother eating the crusts? No! Why? Because no matter what there is plenty and never ending supply of cheese covered morsels. Well give an otter an all you can eat with no effort buffet and they will eat the best parts (to them, anyhow) and leave a big pile of 'crusts' to waste.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:43 PM
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o2bfishin o2bfishin is offline
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I guess that's the price one pays for living on the water. It's not just otters that cause destruction. We've lost about $2K's worth of trees to the beavers on the Clinch, and several others have been pruned. They really like leyland cypress. Another forum member lost most of his fruit trees right about the time they were really starting to bear. And another neighbor gave up feeding a local great blue heron her prize koi carp. The former pond is now a rock garden. And then there's the geese.... I'm starting to feel like Bill Murray in Caddy Shack!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:27 AM
Don Kirk Don Kirk is offline
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Default They're coming...

If making excuses for the instinctive ways of apex predators and lard-butt pizza eaters is comforting to you, then you will love the eminent arrival of wolves here in the not so distant future. The big bad wolves are roaring southward in numbers through Missouri and into Arkansas faster than Epsom salt scouring out the lower tract of a widow woman. Do you recall how our brilliant wildlife biologists told us back in the 1970s that there were no coyotes in Tennessee, just the occasional feral “coydog.” Tell me with a straight face that is not hilarious to recall—almost as funny as when the same brain trust tried to pass off the red wolf thingie. Talk about millions of dollars inserted into the anal vent of a wild hog!!
I used to spend a good bit of time in the Yukon. When I was not pestering pike and grayling, one of my favorite things was roaming the area in search of moose antlers. One year after a particularly bad winter with above average snow fall, I saw the results of when the local wolves went on a rampage. The wolves pretty near exterminated all of the moose in the area. They ran down the moose in the high snow, killed them, and the left the critters to move on to more killing. You call it eating the choice parts. Why do you think the ranchers and hunters in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and a couple of other states are so upset with the reintroduction of wolves?
Wolves kill game. Otters kill fish. Man has spent a couple thousand years trying to get rid of the wolves and otters. Man is the apex predator. Some members of our species that are not highly evolved, such as a knuckle dragger like me, want to catch all of the trout and not feel compelled gnaw on the dried out crust at CiCi’s. We dwellers at the shallow end of the gene pool prefer not to protect (or for that matter finance the protection of) wolves, otters, shark, rattlensnakes, brown recluse spiders, ticks, coyotes, copperheads, vampire bats, or leeches. Other than providing a few wildlife biologists their retirement, how has the reintroduction of otters benefited anything or anyone? Are we better of now than we were two decades ago when they were gone? Perhaps when wolves are a plentiful here as coyote, and I personally believe that will happen, popular tolerance of apex predators will wane.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:40 AM
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NDuncan NDuncan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Kirk View Post
Man has spent a couple thousand years trying to get rid of the wolves and otters.
That doesn't mean it was the best thing for the ecosystem, and for the size of game as a whole.

Predators have a positive impact on the population of the prey species as a whole.

The people who end up complaining are always people trying to keep an unnatural number of raised animals in a small confined area - easy target for the predators. Otters can't wipe out a freestone stream but can decimate a catfish farm... Wolves and mountain lions didn't kill off the buffalo, but can destroy a sheep goat or cow farm. Why? An unnatural overabundance of prey in a confined area.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:46 AM
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NDuncan NDuncan is offline
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Other than providing a few wildlife biologists their retirement, how has the reintroduction of otters benefited anything or anyone?
Really i didn't do that. They dumped and them and have never done any study on them since their release. Not like the elk reintroduction or the failed red wolf project.


Oh and you forgot the mountain lions. 10 years ago the farthest east they were was far west texas (in the south anyhow). Now they have spread to Louisiana, with more more and more encounters each year. So at that rate they should be getting here in about 12-15 years. The main reason for their rapid spread - wild hogs. So at least there's that.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:19 PM
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whitefeather whitefeather is offline
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The wolves that were reintroduced into Yellowstone were of the sub-species, Canis lupus occidentalis, the largest of the grey wolf species, which gets nearly 100 lbs. larger than the original species (canis lupis irremotus). CI irremotus was not extirpated from the Canadian province of Alberta, so why wasn't it chosen to replace the original Yellowstone wolves, instead of the largest sub-species from the Artic regions?

The smaller wolf which was original to that area might have been a much better choice in the balance between wolf and elk, without as much damage to the elk herd and surrounding cattle, sheep, etc. Were they even needed? Some say yes, the elk were overgrazing the park and becoming sickly. Because of the overgrazing the beaver were disappearing, not creating the wetlands needed to replenish the grasses. Enter the coyote, which were also reintroduced and got out of hand. Perhaps the choice of the larger wolf was to trim the coyote packs also. The larger CI occidentalis, is reputed to "kill for sport", while the smaller, CI irremotus kills for survival.

Maybe this business of man trying to act out his "god complex" by balancing the ecosystem might work a tad better if he did his homework according to biological history and not according to his own political whims.

As for the hogs in the park (feral pigs and asian boars), they are both invasives, brought here by early settlers and years before that by the Spaniards. When does an invasive become a native? They do absolutely no good in the park or surrounding areas. Their impact is pure negative, from destroyed fauna to polluted streams. Why are they still allowed to multiply? And no, they are not "controlled", as we would be persuaded to believe. If the park service were really concerned about keeping the GSMNP a viable ecosystem, they would extirpate the wild hogs with bounties and hog hunts. The few professional hunters they employ can not even begin to keep up with the population. Crisis management doesn't solve problems, it just extends them. Just my two cents worth.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:22 PM
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duckypaddler duckypaddler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitefeather View Post
The wolves that were reintroduced into Yellowstone were of the sub-species, Canis lupus occidentalis, the largest of the grey wolf species, which gets nearly 100 lbs. larger than the original species (canis lupis irremotus). CI irremotus was not extirpated from the Canadian province of Alberta, so why wasn't it chosen to replace the original Yellowstone wolves, instead of the largest sub-species from the Artic regions?

The smaller wolf which was original to that area might have been a much better choice in the balance between wolf and elk, without as much damage to the elk herd and surrounding cattle, sheep, etc. Were they even needed? Some say yes, the elk were overgrazing the park and becoming sickly. Because of the overgrazing the beaver were disappearing, not creating the wetlands needed to replenish the grasses. Enter the coyote, which were also reintroduced and got out of hand. Perhaps the choice of the larger wolf was to trim the coyote packs also. The larger CI occidentalis, is reputed to "kill for sport", while the smaller, CI irremotus kills for survival.

Maybe this business of man trying to act out his "god complex" by balancing the ecosystem might work a tad better if he did his homework according to biological history and not according to his own political whims.

As for the hogs in the park (feral pigs and asian boars), they are both invasives, brought here by early settlers and years before that by the Spaniards. When does an invasive become a native? They do absolutely no good in the park or surrounding areas. Their impact is pure negative, from destroyed fauna to polluted streams. Why are they still allowed to multiply? And no, they are not "controlled", as we would be persuaded to believe. If the park service were really concerned about keeping the GSMNP a viable ecosystem, they would extirpate the wild hogs with bounties and hog hunts. The few professional hunters they employ can not even begin to keep up with the population. Crisis management doesn't solve problems, it just extends them. Just my two cents worth.
What would you suggest as a solution for pigs in the park? They hunt them, and while I agree with many of your points I don't see any easy solutions. I'm sure the park service would be thrilled if there were no pigs in the park
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:36 PM
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BlueRaiderFan BlueRaiderFan is offline
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I've never noticed a lot of damage in the park from hogs. I little rooting up the ground but nothing major.
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