Rushden angling club’s bid to stop otter attacks on fishing stock

The type of fencing being proposed
The type of fencing being proposed

A club is looking to put up fencing to stop attacks by otters on fishing stocks.

Ditchford Lakes in Rushden is made up of two lakes and leased to a fishing club which has 44 members and pays an annual rent of £3,050.

While the site is owned by East Northants Council and forms part of the Nene Wetlands Nature Reserve managed by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust, the tenants have increased fish stocks at their own expense.

However, the tenants say there have been several attacks by otters on the fish stock, including high value ones, and they are trying to find ways to stop this happening.

Their proposals to put up a fence structure of a design and type that has proved to keep otter species out of water courses, lakes and streams where angling takes place will be discussed by members of East Northants Council’s policy and resources committee tomorrow (Monday).

A report prepared for the meeting says: “The tenants believe that without the proposed fencing the otter attacks are likely to continue, which could leave the club membership unsustainable.

“The tenants also support the management of the site and provide visibility, which they believe helps protect the area from vandalism and degeneration.

“If the fishing club decide to leave Ditchford, it might result in a potential loss of income of £3,000 per annum.”

The tenants accept that the works are extensive and have said they will meet all of the costs themselves.

In considering the implications for customers, the report prepared for councillors states: “It is important to keep in mind that Ditchford has multiple users and stakeholders.

“The fencing proposals will protect the anglers’ sporting interests, to which they subscribe to financially.

“The proposed fence would also help keep other users of the site to a defined route at the same time as improving their safety.

“Some may view the proposals as limiting their access to the site and, as with fencing installations in other areas of the district, the public may have strong views.”

Councillors will be asked to consider and decide whether to approve the proposals for installing otter fencing at Ditchford Lakes at their meeting starting at 7.30pm on Monday (November 5) at East Northamptonshire House in Thrapston.