Conservationists and anglers clash over otters’ return

Otters are being blamed for eating fish.
Otters are being blamed for eating fish.
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Anglers have clashed with conservationists over the return of otters to waterways in the district.

Reader Barry Drake produced a photo (right) showing a fish, he says was killed by otters.

Mr Drake believes otters will kill most of the fish in the River Witham in Grantham, adding: “The river will die due to the destruction of these carnivorous creatures.”

His comments follow remarks by Alan Newcombe is a letter to the Journal last week, who branded the otter “an ace predator,” responsible for killing many carp on his lake.

But Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust spokeswoman Rachel Shaw says such a reaction is “sad”.

She told the Journal improved rivers were benefiting otters and fish alike and both were part of river diversity.

Stewart West, who spoke on otters at a trust meeting in Barkston this month, told the Journal that as a predator, otters helped maintain a healthy eco-system.

He said they tended to eat eels and it was harsh to blame them for eating occasional fish. He said otters were transient and rarely overfished an area. They took fish to stay alive.

l Letters – pages 26 and 27