Does anyone know if there has been a concerted effort to support the otter population on the Wharfe near Ilkley? I am only asking because I've seen two in the last five days. Before that I've not seen any in the last seven years and I must walk by the river at least three times a week.
The first was on Monday where I saw a small otter in the centre of the river when walking past the rugby fields and the second was a much larger animal seen by the repaired path near the golf club. The first disappeared quickly when it spotted me but I watched the second for over half an hour as it fed. It was not bothered by me or a small family who were also fascinated by the creature.
Maybe the recent high water levels have brought them downstream or have I just been unlucky in the past and not noticed them?
I would advise everyone to keep locations secret or else the Fishing Club members will execute them. I'm a fisherman myself, but don't measure the enjoyment of my time on the river bank by the number of fish caught, seeing a Kingfisher or an Otter would be reward enough.
I've heard that fish stocks on the Greenholme stretch of the Wharfe have fallen so greatly that Otters are suspected and Herons have been shot at.
I'm seeing more and more foxes locally which is nice, but they are also a target and plenty more wildfowl than previously, but songbirds do seem to be on the decline.
I love otters and kingfishers, yet to see one in person though. Since the weather today has perked up I'll go for a walk down there later with the camera and see if I can spot the little fellows. Exciting!
I know that this is an old thread, but...
First, otters are abundant along the entire course of the Wharfe. Secondly, fisherman are well aware of the otters because we're on the river at dawn so we see them! The suggestion that fishermen will "execute" otters is a bit far-fetched. The majority of fishermen I speak with are delighted when we see an otter because it means the river is in good health. Those fisherman who are concerned by predation of fish stocks are pursuing legal means of otter control such as otter-proof fencing (like at Knotford Lagoon) and lobbying for the introduction of culls in problem areas. Otters are a protected species, therefore if anyone has information (not just speculation) that otters are being killed then please inform the police rather than spreading malicious rumors online.
Back when I wrote the post to which you refer, there was some significant wild life destruction, to 'protect fish stocks' being carried out by a prominent member of a club that owns one of the Burley stretches . I don't live there now so cannot comment on the current situation.