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Sportsman Outdoors

Predators in the wild!

Jack Danchak, Columnist
Posted 7/2/21

I was reading an article in a hunting magazine that was interesting, thinking maybe this could be happening.  The article states that predators have a unique role in our environment as they …

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Sportsman Outdoors

Predators in the wild!

Posted

I was reading an article in a hunting magazine that was interesting, thinking maybe this could be happening.  The article states that predators have a unique role in our environment as they essentially define their place in the wild by killing things. 

Coyotes kill deer, fishers prey upon turkeys and foxes eat rabbits.  Sometimes the role of a predator extends beyond the natural world and impacts people as well.

Game and fish biologists can manage to a degree the balance between predator and prey, but addressing the effect predation has on people, whether it’s their livelihoods or property damage, can be very challenging. 

The issue is compounded much further when the species of predators that are the cause of a problem happens to be one in which the population isn’t abundant enough to allow for hunting seasons and daily bag limits as a means of control.

River otters are predators that kill and eat fish.  Otters can swim with power and speed and they have sharp teeth that can grip and crush fish.  Biologists say there is not a fish fast enough to escape a hungry otter.

While the prey species of coyotes, fishers and foxes have plenty of room to run and sometimes escape, when otters move into a small pond stocked with fish there is nowhere for fish to flee, making it an easy meal for otters. 

Man-made ponds are usually stocked with plenty of panfish and bass, thus providing a smorgasbord for otters.

A landowner reported that otters cleaned out most of the fish from his pond, putting a damper on the upcoming summer when his friends and family often enjoyed an afternoon or evening fishing on his small pond.  Making the matter more frustrating is the money and time that went into stocking the pond several years ago, creating a fishery that until now, was flourishing with fish.

If you have a small pond and are wondering where did all your fish go, it may have been otters that cleaned out your fish.  Trapping the otters could be the best solution to this problem.  Also you could call the environmental people to make them aware of your problem so they can address it. 

Call your region’s environmental office and have an incident report on file.  This helps to build justification to have otters trapped or to extend the otter trapping season.

12-year-old Angler

wins $15k!

Twelve-year-oldFinnan Murphy of Pittsford, fishing in the Lake Ontario Counties Spring Trout & Salmon Derby, the 6th grade student caught a 26 lb. 10 oz. salmon that was the largest fish caught in the derby.

Young Finnan was awarded the Grand Prize, a check for $15,000.  He said he was trolling a Yellowtail Warrior spoon when the huge salmon hit his lure.  Asked what he will do with the $15,000, he said he would like to get his mom and dad a present and get a few video games for himself and the rest of the money will go towards his college education.

Have a Great Fourth Of July Weekend!

 

Jack Danchak is a longtime sportsmen and spent 30 years as the President of the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County, Inc.

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