Until now, mink trapping in Britain has always been open-ended, simply because new mink have been available to replace those caught on a particular river or lake system. This depressing situation is now changing, however. Coordinated, collaborative trapping on a landscape scale in eastern England has now been shown to remove mink entirely, so re-invasion cannot happen if the trapped area is large enough.

In any area with a network of continuously active mink traps, mink can be reduced by over 70% year-on-year. This means that fewer than 1% will remain after 4 years, and by this time reproduction should cease (just because boy does not meet girl in the short mating window in early spring).

The Waterlife Recovery East partnership has not yet been in existence for 5 years, but discussions are already underway to consider where traps can be picked up because they have caught no mink in a long time and now have no realistic prospect of ever catching one. It will be unsafe to remove all traps until mink immigration has completely ceased, but after 5 years it is highly likely that trapping effort can be safely reduced.