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Fish Eating Birds - Do they damage fisheries? Of course they do.

Predation Experiments in Germany

After another successful EWF Flyfishing show in Munich Germany, we did what has become a customary 2 day casting course focusing on double handed rods on the Isar, a river slightly smaller than the Scottish Dee that runs through the heart of Munich. This river is known to contain 60 different fish species, the main ones for angling being Grayling, Brown and Rainbow Trout. But it also has many others such as Barble, Perch and Pike.

Speaking to one of the local people I find out that they have an on going experiment where by, on certain sections of the river, FEBs are managed, whilst on other sections, similar in character, remain unmanaged.

In the managed sections the number of some species, in this case Grayling, (favoured by Cormorants), are 100 times more fish. Predation by those birds have a massive impact on this river, and, although we’ve all known this, only through this type of experiment can it be proven!

However, even after doing the physical experiment, and “proving” this to be the case; by far the biggest hurdle remains – Weak politicians influenced only by Green Party policy.

Because the outcome of the experiment doesn’t fit their agenda, they deploy political tactics of Discredit, delay and lying, often using “government” Scientists and “Lawyers” to cover their tracks.

If we look closer to home, we find the same thing happening with control of fish eating birds and other predators. During time of low production both too and from our salmon rivers, most of us “know” that predators are impacting negatively on the overall stock and precautionary action was required, not now, but some years ago. However, worryingly, there are still those who think we need to continue monitoring, counting the contents of the stomachs of Goosanders and Cormorants, checking to see whether seals actually eat Salmon!! They collect data to bring to government and having been doing so for the past 30 years. We have all the data we ever require, yet still we need more. The reality is, this is no more than a “delaying” tactic, nothing will every be properly done with this data because no one has the balls to even contemplate putting their head above the parapet. In the mean time, for various reasons, most of which we know about, numbers of salmon in our river continue to decline.

However, there is a solution. A very easy solution. It requires those involved to make the necessary changes. If those decision makers cannot see this then they shouldn’t be making the decisions.

Not convinced ? Everything you need to know is here -

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2 comentarios

Jonathan  Sutton
Jonathan Sutton
27 oct 2021

Ref seals, as a kid we would have a day out on the Northumberland Coast to see “if” we could see some seals. 40-odd years later & take the same trip to the Farne Islands & you can’t move for them. The quantity of salmon they consume cannot not affect Tweed & east coast rivers. Politicians & stakeholders are blind to the effects of protecting them & fish eating birds.

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Agree completely, Ian. Birds can be seen, fish can`t so it`s a case of `out of sight, out of mind`.

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