swan injured

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Jun 20, 2002
hi guys! its steve here aka the pilgrim

bit of drama on this one I'm afraid but your input would be welcome.

excerpt from local rag:
A swan which escaped a horrific death when three fishing hooks became embedded in its skin may have been deliberately attacked, the RSPCA has revealed.
The adult female swan was rescued from a fishing lake at Ringstead, nr Thrapston, a three-pronged fishing hook hed penetrated its neck and back.
A second hook was lodged in its wing, while a third had gone into its stomach.
The RSPCA inspector Clint Davies said "this is with out doubt the worst case of fishing tackle injury that I have ever seen"
"The type of hook used, which would be best suited to catching a 40 pound pike, led me to believe that this was a deliberate and malicious attack"
Mr Davies said the hooks were designed for catching large fish and not suitable for small fishing lakes.
anyone with info ring RSAPCA on 08705 555 999

when I read this I was absolutely appalled, no angler in his right mind would get near a swan to do this especially now when they have young to protect. So what sort of suicidal plonker have we got running around out there?
Is it some form of anti actvity? sacrifice a swan or two to get angling banned or what? I throw it open to you


Regular member
Aug 11, 2001
These days the press seem to pick up on the odd nasty piece and ignore the picture as a whole.

This article no dought caught the eye of a lot of people and thats what they want you'll find next week the letters page will be full of comments from non anglers saying how cruel we are and that it was done on purpose when in fact i very much dought it was.

You will proberly find that the hooks became stuck in the Swan after being left in a snag or tree and the Swan was unfortunate to become entangled in them.

The case's of Swans and tackle injury now adays is a lot fewer (thankfully) than in years gone by and the RSPCA will tell you that more Swans a year are now injuried by overhead power line's and landing on wet roads than by fishing tackle.

Whilst the above does not excuse the fact that the Swan had to suffer what it did it is i'm afraid some thing that will on occasion happen and in some way we are all responsible as not one of us can say we have never lost a hook or piece of line in a snag which at some latter date a Swan/Duck or other creature may pick up.

But what we can do is try our best to avoid these losses and so hopefully not add to the problem.

On another note we were banned from using lead weight's to assist in cutting down on the possible lead poisioning of waterfowl amongst other things, yet a few weeks ago whilst fishing on a local canal myself and others were constantly peppered by buck shot which was also falling in the water and on the towpath.
This was from a farmer shooting wood pidgeons in his field and when approached his comment was TOUGH.

I've since contacted our local rag about the incident as well as spoke to a local bobby and neither were interested in either the safty aspect or the pollution side of things.

It just makes me wonder what is going on these days.

Fish with Friends @ MaggotDrowning.com


Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Aug 8, 2001
quote:On another note we were banned from using lead weight's to assist in cutting down on the possible lead poisioning of waterfowl amongst other things, yet a few weeks ago whilst fishing on a local canal myself and others were constantly peppered by buck shot which was also falling in the water and on the towpath.

That's an interesting point Malc. I read loads of reports a few years back regarding lead poisoning causing deaths where swans were concerned. The one thing that was never said though is what type of lead shot it was - gun or fishing.
On the face of it how many anglers loose anywhere near the amount of shot that an average 12 gauge cartridge holds, I for one don't loose anywhere near that much in a season.

Of all the deaths I cannot recall the results of one autopsy that identified the type of shot, maybe I missed it. The two types would certainly be easily identifiable.

Don't get me wrong though, it doesn't take much lead to effect poisoning but looking at the overall picture is it all ours?



04/11/01 - 12/10/15
In Memoriam
Nov 4, 2001
Several points here. Just cos a swan is nesting on a small pool doesnt mean the hooks were picked up there. My first thoughts were that idiot from the RSPCA doesnt know swans fly and visit other waters. Ok it was done for the publicity but it does demonstrate just how far some will go to attack angling.

Lead shot. Back in the good old bad old days wasnt it strange that the majority of swan deaths through lead poisening came from rivers etc with large concentrations of boat traffic.
Why if swans are affected by lead shot then this is not shown throughout the bird world I may be wrong here but we dont hear of other species being affected, and all birds need grit to eat.

It is illegal if shot from a gun lands over a boundary on to some one elses property. Having shot and fished for many years I have actually witnessed this and been there when the police called to investigate in this case it was due to high winds blowing the shot on to adjacent property.

This is in noway an attempt to defend what happened but stating what did happen. I cant and will not defend the fact that shot guns do place more lead into the enviroment. But until lead free petrol became compulsory lets be honest leaded fuel put more lead there than any thing else and we will suffer for this for years to come.

We need to be vigilent and where possible counter these erronous articles with letters to the editor to state the truth.

chill out go fishing


Account Locked
Jan 24, 2002
hi all ive fished on several town centre waters & have seen swans actualy getting caught in lines on the last 3 occasions all on peterborough embankment the angler was fishing normally when a member of the public came next to him & i mean just 4 to 5 ft & then procceeded to feed the swans & ducks with a loaf of bread well the swans ect came from all angles there was no way the angler could aviod them on two of the occasions i managed to sort it out but on one i did have to get rspca out but it got sorted quickly
so how many other incidents could have the same cause

tight lines.
talk fishing flip football
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