Sunday, 23 February 2014

Kayaking trip & Carp mystery

Last night I decided on doing some kayaking and I ended up using my sit on fiber glass Kayak as the weather was perfect for it and as I have only used my inflatable kayak over the past few weeks due to the weather as its much more sealed in and keeps you dry rather than my sit on kayak which has not had much use since Autumn.
I ended up kayaking the lake at last light just as 3 Shellduck came in to roost on the rock island in the middle of the lake from predators. While doing my paddle of the edge of the lake I spotted a dead Leather/Mirror carp of about 15lbs in weight as I investigated I noticed a few large clean cuts and scratches in one area and my first thought was Otter or possibly Fox. There was no fishy smell and the fish was not bloated so I new this was fresh and a few days old.  
It was great to find fresh signs of Otters hunting on my favorite kayaking spot. As I did not have a camera ready or charged I decided on leaving and returning in the early hours of the morning to see if I could see the culprit with my own eyes. Before I left I placed the Carp on a large mud bank to see if anything would leave prints around the area if anything returned that evening.
I returned with my kayak at 3am in the morning to see if anything had been back to the carp but first I thought about having a little sleep in my kayak as I always take my sleeping bag with me and I ended up falling asleep for a couple of hours and waking up at first light at about 6.30am. I saw lots of snipe flying in darkness, Flash and snow slept on the water nearby, a moorhen slept in the tree above I heard a few Foxy cackles while drifting off to sleep but nothing that would suggest a feeding frenzy. After waking up to the alarm call of 70 Canada Geese heading towards my kayak in formation but luckily they spotted me and landed further up the lake then went to graze on the fields surrounding the lake.
I went to the spot where I left the carp and as I thought it had vanished so I decided on investigating the bank. As the wind had gotten strong so if it was in the water it would have been on my side of the lake due to wind direction.
I spotted the Carp a few meter's away up a very muddy and slightly steep bank which made me think Fox and so I looked in the mud and there was no prints or any other signs of a mammal.
More fish was eaten and the clean cuts on the carp made be doubt Fox as they are normally rougher with there prey and frequently scent mark nearby to such a large food source. I placed the fish on the rocky island where only an aquatic mammal could reach and if its still there I will try to get a camera to reveal the culprit and fingers crossed it will be the Otter and I am glad its here and if living as it should on the rivers, canals and lake of Cheshire. I just I would have been a wake to see the culprit that I have searched for on my local patch for many years.

Thanks for visiting 

I also saw a Fox on my paddle home but could not see where it went as I poked myself in the eye on a branch as I got out to investigate.

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