Home Register Today's Posts Members User CP Calendar FAQ

Go Back   Little River Outfitters Forum > Fly Fishing Board > Smoky Mountain Fishing

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 02-08-2011, 09:07 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 992
Default

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
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-08-2011, 09:58 PM
doghaircaddis's Avatar
doghaircaddis doghaircaddis is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Encinitas, CA
Posts: 278
Default

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.
__________________
doghaircaddis@gmail.com
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-09-2011, 08:57 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 992
Default

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
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:16 AM
CinciVol CinciVol is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Knoxville
Posts: 158
Default

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)?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-09-2011, 11:59 AM
Crockett Crockett is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maryville, TN
Posts: 700
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CinciVol View Post
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.
__________________
Adam Beal

http://gosmokies.knoxnews.com/profil...=2hvzainc23h5b

Hey Jack (JAB)...

Last edited by Crockett; 02-09-2011 at 01:17 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-09-2011, 12:09 PM
JohnH0802's Avatar
JohnH0802 JohnH0802 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Beaufort, SC
Posts: 447
Default

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."
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-09-2011, 01:20 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 992
Default

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
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-09-2011, 02:09 PM
whitefeather's Avatar
whitefeather whitefeather is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bean Blossom, Indiana
Posts: 357
Default

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.

__________________
Whitefeather

-don't tell me why we can't, tell me how we can.- whitefeather
_________________________________________________
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!
(Wilu Sgis, Wami Tsenitli Winidis, Ani Tiwuti Wiledi Weitas Do Ali!)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-13-2011, 05:53 AM
FishNHunt FishNHunt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Maryville,TN
Posts: 221
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-13-2011, 07:32 AM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Greeneville, TN
Posts: 751
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishNHunt View Post
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
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:10 PM.



Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.