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The Monster of the Mere

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I found this today, thought people might be interested:

The monster of the mere

Feb 14 2002

Liverpool Echo

IT sounds like an unlikely fisherman's tale.

But the manager of the Martin Mere nature reserve in West Lancashire is convinced there is something large lurking in the deeps.

Some creature, say staff at the reserve, is responsible for dragging fully grown swans into one of their lakes.

And it could be a monster fish the size of a small car, a kind of cross between Jaws and the Loch Ness Monster.

This is one theory which might explain the sight of a swan being pulled underwater.

Several visitors witnessed the swan trying to flee the grasp of a giant underwater predator on Thursday night.

In an earlier incident, the 20-acre lake where swans gather was left deserted as they all refused to go on to the water.

"Something is completely spooking them," commented reserve manager Chris Tomlinson.

"On two occasions, both Thursdays, January 17 and February 7, something in the water has caused the 1,500-plus wild wintering swans to completely disappear".

Centre manager Pat Wisniewski adds: "Whatever it was out there last night must have been pretty big to pull a swan back into the water. Swans weigh up to 13 kilos".

Pat added: "This could be an extremely large pike, or a Wels catfish. Both conceivably could survive in the rather murky, de-oxygenated water for years and grow to an extremely large size".

Four years ago Pat spotted something that appeared to be the size of a small car circling the mere just below the waterline of the lake, which is four metres deep.

One theory is that something may have made its way into the mere through its drainage system many years ago as a juvenile and remained there ever since having grown too large to escape.

Visitors to WWT Martin Mere are asked to keep their eyes peeled for the monster.

* The current British record rod-caught Wels catfish stands at 62lb while the world record weight is 202lb. The Wels is Europe's largest freshwater fish and they are known to live in excess of 30 years.

A spokesman for Angling Times said it was unlikely the predator would be a catfish, however. They do not grow to any considerable size this far north, although some specimens have been caught in the Wirral meres. It is the wrong time of year for large catfish to be so active.

What does everyone think?

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      It's a shame that such a beautiful place is being terrorized by some underwater monster(any fish that can get to be over 200 lbs. has my vote).  The swans have an instinct for survival,  so I guess they will try not be on the menu!  

       That  'it's the wrong time of year' -  well,  Nature hasn't always obeyed the rules(or is that laws?)!

Whether it's true or made-up,  if the swans are being killed off,  it should be checked into.  

        KC (swan safety advocate) :s8

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[blue]...it's killing fluffy wuffy swans....?[/blue] :'(

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I imagine the waterfowl they were talking about were ducks rather than swans though...

Size of a small car? German U-boat whose crew refuses to believe the war is over - anyone?  ;D

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Ducklings or maybe something small like a moorhen,

but i have never heard of any freshwater fish taking a swan :sj

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Maybe the Swans are having a giggle *pretending* to be dragged underwater and then resurfacing out of view to play a trick on us...

...now where did i put the medication, hmmm...

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