ANGLERS have been warned to clear up after themselves after an dead otter was found tangled in discarded fishing wire in Stamford.
And a second otter has been found dead on a roadside verge in Bourne.
Rich Beach, of Barnack Road, Stamford, often kayaks up and down the River Welland clearing up rubbish. On Friday last week he was trying to untangle pike line from a tree near the Meadows when he found the otter.
He said: “The line was taught and there was something caught on it, which turned out to be an otter.
“It was pretty clear that it had spent the night in the river struggling. It is such a shame.”
Mr Beach said the fishing line was typical of what he finds every weekend.
He added: “People just don’t care about the river. I always come back with two binbags full of rubbish. I’m appalled at what I find down there.
“There are signs on all the entrances saying it is a £70 fine for littering but everyone can get away with it. It’s a big issue.”
Mr Beach called the Environment Agency who came out to try and find the otter’s body, but it had disappeared back into the river.
A spokesman said: “It is sad to see such a beautiful, healthy animal killed so pointlessly and we would urge anglers to take their discarded wire and other rubbish home with them to prevent this kind of incident occurring.
“Otters, as well as water voles and native crayfish are all protected by law and killing them can result in a fine of up to £5,000 or up to six months in prison.”
A second dead otter was found by staff at Travis Perkins in Cherryholt Road, Bourne on Monday last week. Local naturalist Bob Sheppard, of Beech Avenue, was called and removed the animal’s body from the scene.
It was later collected by the Environment Agency, who put it in a freezer before transporting it to Cardiff University’s Otter Project.
Mr Sheppard said: “The otter is rarely seen alive by the public and when the staff at Travis Perkins found the mammal on the roadside verge it was unfortunately dead.
“Otters often move long distances at night and regularly cross roads. The otter was probably moving along the Bourne Eau near the Anchor pub on Eastgate and it ended up on Cherry Holt Road.
“Otter sightings have increased in recent years in the county, but for most of us this beautiful creature still remains as elusive as ever.”
The Otter Project receives dead otters from around the country and conducts post-mortems to establish the cause of death.
The results give an overall picture of the health of the country’s rivers.