In October 2015, very sadly a dead otter was found in a trap washed downstream at Kings Lock, on the River Soar on the upstream end of Leicester City. The otter was caught in a trap used for catching fish and crayfish and it drowned. The otter carcass (in the net) was caught in overhanging branches by Packhorse Bridge (near Kings Lock). It had been washed down from the Gees Lock area. The trap was not licensed and all traps require a licence from the EA under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (SAFFA). For information the Environment Agency only consent traps if it is for education, fisheries management and conservation purposes and all traps must conform to their specifications.
A poster (click here to download it) forms part of the preventative measures taken to reduce the likelihood of this happening again, and the following actions are currently being undertaken:
- The Environment Agency and Leicester City Council Riverside Team and Enforcement officers will be patrolling the area, bailiffs will check for illegal traps and take action.
- Leicestershire Police are aware of the incident and have agreed to take action if evidence is provided and will be part of a pro-active campaign to reduce wildlife crime in the area.
AMAS is working with other partner organisations to raise the profile of this illegal activity. If you see any traps in or near the river please call 0800 80 70 60 immediately. This is the Environment Agency incidence number.