When you have a raised a gorgeous pond pet from a small fry, it can be hard to loose them to a predator! How do we protect our Koi from unwanted attention? And who is it, that’s hunting them? No matter what animal is hunting your pond pets, you need to give your fish cover! Lily pads aren’t just aesthetic, they can also be functional, providing a place to hide for your fish… If they are still on the local menu, adding some tree cover to the pond also helps. If the animals can’t see your fish, they won’t know the buffet is still open!

Most people assume that they suffer fish loss due to domestic animals, like cats and dogs, or other neighbourhood mammals, such as racoons. Although these animals do play a part, in fact, most fish loss is actually due to larger predator birds.

If you have persistent and very hungry animals or birds, then we have to consider other alternatives. A client of ours, Jackie, called and was quite frustrated with her local blue heron. She was at her wit’s end with the persistence of this bird and wondered if we had any suggestions. This is what we came up with!

  1. First of all, try a Fountain! Yup, the AquaJet fountain pump provides a hiding place for your fish. The rippling of the water’s surfce helps confuse the herons making your fish harder to see, and when the fountain is in “bell” mode, the fish can actually hide right under the fountain spray! The AquaJet pumps are IN STORE NOW at a special 40% Off while supplies last….
  2. Use an Atlantic pond net to cover the pond especially in early spring and late fall when fish are slower moving and they have little cover from aquatic plants. Again, we carry these IN STORE, and why do we do that? Becasue they work!
  3. We proposed a sling shot and our client, Jackie, said her husband had already fired a few rounds from his paint ball gun, but the bird is relentless. Plus not everybody has the heart for that type of repellent!
  4. In addition to the Scarecrow (motion sensored water sprayer), there are also ‘acoustic heron protectors’ that emit sounds triggered by sensors. These also work on other birds as well. You can check these out at:
  5. Get a pet dog…Nothing says terrifying like 70 pounds of barking mammal, or if you’re not up for canine ownership, you could play the radio or sounds of dogs, to ward the predator off!
  6. Herons will pick up on routines, so they will try to come by the house when people are out. Changing your routine slightly may make the heron more reticent to drop by. Incidentally, this works on Racoons as well!
  7. Try to block the Heron’s pond access. Fishing line is one of the main suggestions and it should be placed near the heron’s landing spots. Conversely, you could also block landing areas with shrubs, bushes, decorative urns/features, etc. Basically anything that impedes its access will help protect your fish.

YOu may also find these resources helpful in protecting against predators. Please click on the image to download the PDF.

Herons Raccoons

If you are having issues with fish disappearance, and do find any solutions, please share them with us! We’d love to know!

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