Please bear with us but this is very important considering events over the last 24 hours.
We the club do our very best to run and provide fishing for anglers on 7 waters and 2 stretches of the River Thames. This has always been the case and will always be the case. It takes lots of hard work by a relatively small group of people who give up their free time to do this for little or no reward. ALL of the waters we run are owned by someone else so the club doesn’t actually own any of the waters at all. If for any reason there are work parties to organise or things to address regarding these waters then largely we have to inform our landlords for either permission or clarification on what we are able to do. As such the working relationships that we have with our landlords are very good and have involved regular meetings to build up trust so we can all work together to provide the fishing that we do.
We strongly urge ALL anglers that any misdemeanour’s of any kind can have huge consequences on the fishing for ALL members. The recent topic of Otters on our newly opened Facebook site is one such situation that could be a Huge potential banana skin.
We need to clarify several very important points over this very thorny issue and lay down the facts for people to see. Otters are here to stay and there is NOTHING that anyone can do about it unless the legislation changes in the preceding years. It is commendable that anglers feel so strongly about their quarry and the waters that they are in, BUT sometimes actions can fall into the over zealous or irrational category.
AT NO TIME NOW OR IN THE FUTURE IS ANY ANGLER TO TAKE ANY ACTION THAT WOULD BRING THE CLUB INTO DISREPUTE OR JEOPARDISE THE FISHING FOR ITS CONTINUED FUTURE.
There is a fine of £5000 and a six month prison term for the killing of Otters as they are a protected species. The EA are more than aware of the issue of Otters and their impact on fishing around the country. ANY talk on social media or forums of ANY kind is open to scrutiny and if ANY evidence of unilateral action is found then the EA WILL make a thorough investigation and prosecute with the power that they have. All the loose talk that goes with any discussion on Otters is up for scrutiny and possible action and should be avoided at ALL costs. Any action taken by an individual that was proven would mean instant expulsion of AKAC from ALL of the Costwold Water Park Trust waters that we run.
Here are some FACTS that have been given to me by Ben Welbourn our contact at the CWPT, who is the Boidiversity Officer there and deals with many issues and topics regarding the Flora and Fauna in the Park. His is an amazing knowledge and should be treated with respect.
A vast majority of the re-introduced Otters were killed on roads in the first 12 months. Otter populations have not reached pre 1960 populations. We as anglers notice them now more because angling is such a massive past time and waters are extremely abundant all over the country whereas in the 60′s there were hardly any fisheries and the fish didn’t reach such huge sizes. Otters are a native species. Carp are an artificially introduced species. Crayfish form a big part of an Otters diet at certain times of the year and spraints are usually a vivid red colour due to the crayfish being eaten. The Otters in the Water park are eating fish as they do and NOT birds or voles as spraints examined show no signs of plumage or fur. Otter populations will not continue to expand infinitely A biomass will be reached and then the Otters will naturally keep to that level to preserve themselves. All naturally occurring species do the same. Its only the human race that continues to expand unabated. These are all facts given to me by Ben.
We are in no way defending Otters as obviously they are a huge threat to our assets, but equally we have to respect the law.
To add to this. ANY rule breaking or “stroke pulling” of any kind can cause the angling club problems and distress, possibly undermining work that the club have made pains to undertake to improve and preserve the fishing you all crave.