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fish-kill , mink or otter ?

Amazing -- salmon scooping out hollows to spawn in a river quite close to where we are . I have never seen that in real life before .
One was up on the bank , with its head missing . I gather that otter always eat the head first then work down . Do mink do that too ? It could have been either and I would really like to know which it actually was .
( No footprints btw -- it was up a mossy bank ) .

Grizzley Bear! Would they grow on in your mates pond I wonder?

wayland wrote:
Grizzley Bear!

Haha I don't know about bears but when we first moved here we nearly convinced ourselves there were Yetis in the hills around us . We kept finding enormous poos , the like of which I had never seen before , and there were small piles of bones in holes under rocks .
So how was I supposed to know what constipated sheep droppings look like ? Or about the bloomin mink , come to that !

I was sorry to see mink in the wild over here. I do not believe that there are the know-nothing, so called animal rights idiots over here to let them out. Like they did in the UK. They must be escapees.

seen a mink carry off a 2 day old piglet before now, that was in the UK, not seen any sign of mink where we are now though, are their mink around ireland

They're escapees. Any where that had a mink farm at some stage in it's history has them. They've been in the river which runs through our backyard for over 35 years. I remember them killing my pet rabbit when I was a child.

They are in the Barrow as well. I will be watching out for these blighters

The same here in Co Cork. My neighbour trapped one last week.

All up and down this valley .
Had first-hand experience of what mink can do to a pair of large Muscovy ducks and an equally large pet bunny a couple of years ago . I saw several and caught one that year . Haven't actually seen any since then, but have finally discovered otter in the same area . So maybe it is true that altho' otter aren't a predator of theirs , they are sufficiently territorial to drive the mink away . That would be excellent .

Just read this old post and thought I might be able to shed some light on it. It may well have been a mink or otter ir even a fox, dog or cat. In Jan the salmon will have spawned, they are called kelts after spawning. Now many kelts die after spawning and can be seen dead around the river banks. All it takes is for an opportunist scavanger to find it and its a free meal. If this same scence were to take place in the middle of summer then it is a very different story and would be very unnatural

I suspect that most kelts which you will see on the banks have been thrown there as rejects by poachers , particularly if they are more-or-less intact .  Not everyone realises that our Atlantic salmon can recover from injury and fungal infection if they are able to return to the sea -- which I think is unlike the American fish you see in documentaries -- those only go upstream once  then all die after spawning . But I could be completely wrong about that .

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