Carp Carnage At Local Wildlife Reserve
By Dave Hutchinson
Friday 23 May 2008 20:21:00
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Carp carnage has taken place at a local nature reserve near Darlington. Newspaper reports last week in The Darlington and Stockton Times and Northern Echo asumed that the water park had been subjected to an attack by otters.

 otter eating fish

 The European mink could you tell the difference from distance in sub light?

Local fisherman have previously reported that the water park had been subjected to poaching allegedly by Eastern Europeans. Evidence around the park at the time was despicable. Carp had been speared and filleted with the carcases left on the banks of the reservoirs. After reported vigilant night patrols the problem appeared to have abated. However a new and far more serious problem has occurred over recent weeks. It began with the death of mute swans, which began to appear, no link was found with bird flue.

 Progressively over weeks carp were found part eaten. One evening a fisherman’s landing net was seen to be licked by what bleary eyed fishermen thought was an otter. This probably due to the fact that they had seen a mink which is not too dissimilar to an otter. The mammal (otter) is a protected species so any attempt to move or kill them is forbidden under law! "Our hands are tied," Mr Pennock membership secretary of FADAC (Ferryhill and District Angling Club. Speaking in the said newspapers. "We can't move the otters, trap them or do anything. We work alongside nature as a club, we like to see otters in the wild, on the rivers, but in a closed water like this, they just clean everything out. "Carp fisherman live and breathe the sport, so when they see a 20lb specimen lying on the bank, half-eaten, it devastates them. They have had enough and some of them have left. "Ward councillor Doris Jones, chairman of the parish council, which owns the fish in the water park, said the facility had been a victim of its own success. "For so long we've been trying to attract wildlife into the water park," she said."Yes, the otter is catching fish as fast as it can, but there are still lots of fish in there. It is the pride of the village. We want to encourage nature where possible, but we need to find a way to keep everyone happy!” In the Northern Echo and Darlington and Stockton Times Wildlife officer Rachael McFarlane, of the Environment Agency, said: "Most anglers welcome the return of otters as an indication of an improving natural environment. However, the Environment Agency recognises that predation by otters can sometimes cause damage to certain fisheries, primarily specimen carp waters." What was not reported in the said newspapers was that the otter's return to the river tees are in locations miles away from the water park! Blackwell, and Thornaby respectively. The river tees is abundant in supplies of eels, roach, trout, salmon, and other coarse fish, including pike to 30lbs +. Further to, No reports of dead fish at Lane Fox, or Skipbridge Fishing pond! Both within a half mile proximity of the river both with abundant stocks of carp. Speaking to councillor Doris Jones She said "We were of the opinion that it was otters, however if it is mink and it is killing other wildlife then I will contact some one to trap and remove them. I am going to have a busy weekend and will inform you of our findings in this regard."

Article update: Last night (Saturday 24th May) further evidence of mink killing the carp was apparent. A freshly killed mirror carp around 10lb was found in pond 2. It had an eye eaten a fin eaten and the mink was attempting to skin the fish when disturbed. The fish had the embedded teeth marks in the head of a mink.

Photo will be supplied by Ferryhill Anglers. A meeting is to take place at the reservoirs on Monday 26th May 1pm.

Pictures of dead carp attacked by mink:


As you can see from these disturbing pictures the tell tale jaw mark on the face of the unfortunate carp clearly shows the jaw is too small for an otter.

However what remains at the water park s wha keeps the fishemen determined to keep going.

 Lee Moore with a 14lb 7oz mirror, this fish is middle of the range to the weight of most catches at the water park.

More images will appear in the big carp gallery section curtosy of Ferryhill Angling Club.




















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