Protecting Your Water Garden From Pond Predators

Protecting Your Water Garden From Pond Predators

Carol Mund3/30/11

If you are a pond owner, you know the ever present danger of predators to your koi or other beloved fish.  The main offenders, usually being heron and other predator birds and raccoons, love your fish in a completely different way than you do!  Their constant fishing expeditions can destroy your pond’s population in no time.

Help protect your fish by understanding these predator’s lifestyles and what you can do to help eliminate their feasts.

Heron

Heron are usually solitary hunters, feeding mostly at dusk and dawn.  In the spring and early summer, feeding may increase due to the feeding of their young.  They hunt in slow moving water, standing motionless until prey come close enough to be caught by the rapid thrust of their bill.  It’s easy to see how our somewhat tame koi would be easy victims of such creatures.

Raccoon

Raccoons are nocturnal and are quite adaptable foragers.  Getting fish from a pond requires the use of their lightening quick paws.  Raccoons are great swimmers as well.

Predator Control

Decoys

Keep in mind that most stationary objects such as these decoys can become unthreatening to a predator over a period of time.  Presumably, they can detect a fraud, when the fraud never moves!

Floating Alligator Decoy

This alligator is hinged in 3 places to give a realistic, free-flowing version of this reptile.  It’s a great conversation piece to your pond as well.

Coyote Decoy & Heron Decoy

Both of these decoys are good representations of these creatures.  Herons are said to be territorial creatures when it comes to feeding so the theory is that the heron decoy will detour them from visiting, except in early spring when the male heron is searching for a mate.

Netting

Most people prefer to only use netting for leaf capturing because it takes away from the natural setting of the pond.  However, it is quite effective means of predator control.  Make sure the netting is pulled tight and is not allowed to drape into the water as this could allow for predator invasion.

Motion-Activated Scarecrow Sprinkler

It’s pretty much defined by its name.  It senses motion and shoots a short burst of water in the direction of the motion.  These sprinklers can be hooked up to one another for an effective water barrier.

 

Koi Kastles

These protective homes are submerged at the bottom of the pond for a safe refuge for your fish.  Corrugated tubing, readily available at your local home improvement store, can also be cut into manageable lengths and placed on the bottom of the pond as a safe area for your fish.

Other Options

Water lilies or other types of broad leaf plants can offer a natural protection for your fish against predators.  Dogs are also a  great protector against heron landing around your pond.

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