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Beavers introduced in Dorset , and a news report on the decline of fresh water fish ??


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I used to live in an area with a large amount of beaver and they are not the type that dam rivers. They do however fell large trees, and dig into the banking and they seem to live alongside otters very well as both are thriving. However the salmon are not, but the reasons for this are unsure and probably very complex.

What does the report say?

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Beavers are plant eaters - only.  Apparently they do not eat fish.  However whether their other activities (dams, bank damage, etc.) are damaging to the fish, I don't know.  I know that sediment build up on the river bed can be harmful for spawning fish like salmon, but that I expect would be sensitive in the upper reaches only?

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It makes me laugh.  I need to ask permission to cut trees down alongside a river and a farmer on the Lugg gets berated for doing just that, yet they release these creatures which will denude the river banks and any trees within 30-40yrds with total freedom.  These Crazzies supporting so called rewilding are living in cloud cookoo land.

I managed a small river for 12 yrs and otters where reintroduced and are now thriving. We feared initially that we would see our efforts to build back the wild brown trout numbers dashed but their introduction actually helped our river as they preyed on the large numbers of slower fish, chub and pike specifically which we had to electro fish and thin out every year, this allowed the other fish to survive as the available food source was maintained.  The otters did very little if any damage to the banks or vegetation and being very territorial maintained a balance of numbers naturally.  We built holts away from the river specifically for the females to use to raise young as the dominant male would seak out and kill the youngsters if it could, very similar to what can occure with lions.

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5 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

We built holts away from the river specifically for the females to use to raise young as the dominant male would seak out and kill the youngsters if it could, very similar to what can occure with lions.

I didn't know that 👍

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1 hour ago, JohnfromUK said:

Beavers are plant eaters - only.  Apparently they do not eat fish.  However whether their other activities (dams, bank damage, etc.) are damaging to the fish, I don't know.  I know that sediment build up on the river bed can be harmful for spawning fish like salmon, but that I expect would be sensitive in the upper reaches only?

I suspect the activities of the so called "conservationists" are more of a danger than the released beavers but I still cannot see the point in upsetting the current ecosystem for something that has been extinct for  centuries is a positive act???

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2 hours ago, Walker570 said:

It makes me laugh.  I need to ask permission to cut trees down alongside a river and a farmer on the Lugg gets berated for doing just that, yet they release these creatures which will denude the river banks and any trees within 30-40yrds with total freedom.  These Crazzies supporting so called rewilding are living in cloud cookoo land.

I managed a small river for 12 yrs and otters where reintroduced and are now thriving. We feared initially that we would see our efforts to build back the wild brown trout numbers dashed but their introduction actually helped our river as they preyed on the large numbers of slower fish, chub and pike specifically which we had to electro fish and thin out every year, this allowed the other fish to survive as the available food source was maintained.  The otters did very little if any damage to the banks or vegetation and being very territorial maintained a balance of numbers naturally.  We built holts away from the river specifically for the females to use to raise young as the dominant male would seak out and kill the youngsters if it could, very similar to what can occure with lions.

I support rewilding with indigenous species. For me personally, the more wildlife I see and varied the better. The benefits are numerous both enviromentally and financial. I appreciate that for a minority it may cause some issues but on the whole, for a healthy countryside we need as much diversity as possible. Obviously some species such as grey squirrels are enormously harmful but not as harmful to the environment as humans. Its people who have changed the landscape to a theme of monoculture as a whole with very little biodiversity, not the absence or inclusion of certain species.

Take your example of the otters. You had concerns but now they are present they have greatly helped restore the balance in favour of a healthy water system which benefits the trout. 

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2 hours ago, stuartyboy said:

I support rewilding with indigenous species...

Not sure, magpies were never (or a rare visitors) seen in Perth, in the mid 90's we started to see pairs, just one or two. Place is mobbed with them now, soon they will be out in the countryside. The other question is how long before something is considered indigenous? Goosanders have been with us for 150 years and they are responsible for the decline in salmon, there is no way that they could not be. Seals? Sanctuaries keeping the numbers artificially high?

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Magpies are indigenous to the UK and their spread is a concern but they've not been released artificially. Unfortunately, their spread is nature taking advantage of a void. And a void that magpies can take advantage of as they're thriving for various reasons. 

In regards to the Goosander, grey squirrels have been present here for about the same time. Both can be considered to be problematic. However, its of no concern in regards to this debate as there's no need for them to be 're-wilded' as they're already present. Which leads you to the question, what species should be re introduced? Obviously, you want species that will have a positive and beneficial impact. 

My initial point was that I support re wilding. Certainly to a point anyway. I like the thought of seeing species like beaver, re introduction of otters in places they are scarce, even apex predators like lynx. There's an argument that they will help the bio diversity and balance of nature which can only be a good thing. 

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2 hours ago, stuartyboy said:

I support rewilding with indigenous species. For me personally, the more wildlife I see and varied the better. The benefits are numerous both enviromentally and financial. I appreciate that for a minority it may cause some issues but on the whole, for a healthy countryside we need as much diversity as possible. Obviously some species such as grey squirrels are enormously harmful but not as harmful to the environment as humans. Its people who have changed the landscape to a theme of monoculture as a whole with very little biodiversity, not the absence or inclusion of certain species.

Take your example of the otters. You had concerns but now they are present they have greatly helped restore the balance in favour of a healthy water system which benefits the trout. 

Here is an interesting story about Wicken fen the NT first property, it describes the careful management needed to meet the needs of species that live there... https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wicken-fen-nature-reserve/features/looking-after-wicken-fen

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9 minutes ago, stuartyboy said:

Thank you, will have a look at that when I get the chance to read it properly 

It is very interesting !  I well remember visiting as a student doing countryside management, The fen is intensively managed now but when first taken on, the new conservation minded owners decided to re-wild [over 100yrs ago] they found that the species they were trying to protect quickly died out and they then realised it was the old reed harvesting techniques that made the fen special.. It worries me that the lessons learnt here so long ago have been forgotten in the haste to save the planet and get famous.

Edited by islandgun
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34 minutes ago, islandgun said:

It is very interesting !  I well remember visiting as a student doing countryside management, The fen is intensively managed now but when first taken on, the new conservation minded owners decided to re-wild [over 100yrs ago] they found that the species they were trying to protect quickly died out and they then realised it was the old reed harvesting techniques that made the fen special.. It worries me that the lessons learnt here so long ago have been forgotten in the haste to save the planet and get famous.

100%     The only thing I agree on is the human population. Just look at the ego thing about  "Gotta have a son"  even if that means siring three or four daughters trying plus the religious thing about procuration.  It is the human population we need to control not wild things.

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4 hours ago, stuartyboy said:

Magpies are indigenous to the UK and their spread is a concern but they've not been released artificially. Unfortunately, their spread is nature taking advantage of a void. And a void that magpies can take advantage of as they're thriving for various reasons. 

In regards to the Goosander, grey squirrels have been present here for about the same time. Both can be considered to be problematic. However, its of no concern in regards to this debate as there's no need for them to be 're-wilded' as they're already present. Which leads you to the question, what species should be re introduced? Obviously, you want species that will have a positive and beneficial impact. 

My initial point was that I support re wilding. Certainly to a point anyway. I like the thought of seeing species like beaver, re introduction of otters in places they are scarce, even apex predators like lynx. There's an argument that they will help the bio diversity and balance of nature which can only be a good thing. 

The problem with magpies is there is no void, no lack of other covids, they are exploiting humans artificially feeding them.

Goosanders and greys, the problem there is the RSPB as they are all for expansion of their territory at the expense of fish. I don't know what the cull numbers are for the whole Tay system but it was just double figures, I could see that many take flight from a 200m backwater at first light, each of them eating 10-20oz of fish a day, that's not sustainable, why should we shoot greys and not goosies? You said; "Obviously, you want species that will have a positive and beneficial impact." How does that fit in with rewilding and biodiversity? 

The Beavers on the Tay don't/can't dam the river which blows a hole in the argument that they will control water flow and help fish and stop flooding. They were removed from the UK 500 years ago, we have moved on, the land is totally different. Should we have bears again? They haven't been here for 1500 years, how about Elk, Aurochs at some stage we need to say no, enough.

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20 hours ago, Vince Green said:

I am of the opinion that the decline in fresh water fish around here is mainly due to red crayfish  eating the eggs before they can hatch

Hello, that maybe true for the Thames there's millions of them so may well be why there a fewer fish species , not forgetting the 2 legged poachers, 

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2 hours ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, that maybe true for the Thames there's millions of them so may well be why there a fewer fish species , not forgetting the 2 legged poachers, 

All the rivers around here in NW London run into the Thames eventually. The Colne, The Chess, The Pinn, The Gade, the Crane etc. They are all equally infested, plus the Grand Union canal takes the crayfish all round the country.

We ought to have a "general licence" situation on crayfish whereby anybody can catch them. Instead you have to apply for a licence, which is difficult to get, they often refuse to give one.

Tnen they limit you to three tagged traps and a short designated stretch of water from which you cannot stray.

Edited by Vince Green
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4 hours ago, Vince Green said:

All the rivers around here in NW London run into the Thames eventually. The Colne, The Chess, The Pinn, The Gade, the Crane etc. They are all equally infested, plus the Grand Union canal takes the crayfish all round the country.

We ought to have a "general licence" situation on crayfish whereby anybody can catch them. Instead you have to apply for a licence, which is difficult to get, they often refuse to give one.

Tnen they limit you to three tagged traps and a short designated stretch of water from which you cannot stray.

Hello, that the EA for you Vince 🤔👎

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7 hours ago, Vince Green said:

All the rivers around here in NW London run into the Thames eventually. The Colne, The Chess, The Pinn, The Gade, the Crane etc. They are all equally infested, plus the Grand Union canal takes the crayfish all round the country.

We ought to have a "general licence" situation on crayfish whereby anybody can catch them. Instead you have to apply for a licence, which is difficult to get, they often refuse to give one.

Tnen they limit you to three tagged traps and a short designated stretch of water from which you cannot stray.

Is there not a government scheme to eradicate the little *********....... if not there should be

heres another..https://mittencrabs.org.uk/ the chinese mitten crab

Edited by islandgun
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