Otters are beautiful animals and are a pleasant part of the British countryside. They have become prevalent in every English county, and their numbers continue to rise. Although remarkable creatures, for fisheries, the presence of otters can cause some serious problems.
Having otters infiltrate fishing lakes can have a devastating and stressful impact. Otters are natural predators of fish and as nocturnal hunters, they can do extreme damage. It is not uncommon to find a collection of fish remnants scattered around the grass as an indicator that a hungry otter has paid a visit. Whilst problematic, there are methods to combat this issue.
What is otter fencing
Otter fencing is recommended by The Environment Agency and Angling Trust as a method of protection when attempting to prevent otters from depleting local fish supplies. The fencing is made of strong wire which is thick and durable. Inserted into the ground via wooden stakes the fencing acts as a permanent barrier which otters cannot penetrate or climb. The Angling Trust offers a grant for otter fencing to help lake owners and fisheries protect their stocks. The Environment Agency collect funds via the fishing license fee and give this money to the Angling Trust who then award and distribute money to fisheries so they can invest in protecting their lakes.
Protecting our lakes
After our own unfortunate incidents with the otters, we decided to take permanent action. We wanted to protect our lakes and keep the fish population at Kingslakes healthy. As there is a large otter population local to Kingslakes implementing the fencing was a necessary step. We were fortunate enough to be awarded a grant from the Angling Trust to help us fund one mile of otter fencing around the lakes here on site. Over half our otter fencing has now been installed and we look forward to completing the project later this year. The remainder of the fencing will need to be done during our off season to minimise the potential disturbance to guests. Our otter fencing is a great solution to the growing threat of otter predation, and we are happy with the progress. As otters are territorial the best way to ‘remove’ them is to make it harder for them to reach the alluring fish supply.
Otter fencing provided us with a humane solution against the growing threat of the local otters and with thanks to the funding from the Angling Trust and Environment Agency our guests can continue to enjoy our plentiful lakes.