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This is a discussion on Combatting Aerial Attack within the Fish and Amphibians forums, part of the Water Gardening category; Recently I was on vacation and had a friend check on the house and feed ...
Recently I was on vacation and had a friend check on the house and feed the fish in my pond. He called me one day and said that all the fish are nowhere to be found. (The normally swim up to the side of the pond and beg when they see a human approach the pond)
My first thought was a heron, but I live in a heavily urbanized area, so I figured that this can't possibly be. When I got home from vacation, I could see a few fish huddled in terror at the bottom of the pond, and no sign of a water quality problem. A few days later I spotted the culprit, and sure enough it was a great blue heron, perched atop my neighbor's roof checking out the pond for an easy lunch.
So I went to the pond supply store and told them of my heron woes. They said all the solutions are either unsightly or ineffective long term. One of their suggestions was to pound in stakes and string fishing line around the perimeter of the pond. The other was a heron decoy, but they said you need to move the decoy on a daily basis, and even then they often realize it's a fake bird. They also had a motion-detector with a water sprayer, but they wanted $85 for it.
One of my neighbors offered to lend me his paintball gun, but this seems kind of mean and would require an extensive stakeout.
Anyone else had any success dealing with a heron problem? The only thing I did so far is put some large black pipe in the pond to give them better hiding places.
we had similar issues not with Heron but with neighbours cats... all we could do in the end was add more plants in the pond for the fish to hide in. some of the plants even flower, e.g. water iris. good luck with the dilemma.
What about a black net cover for the pond?
I think the motion-detector and water sprinkler sound like a good idea. I bet you could do it your self with a trip to the boxstore. Just talk to the employees about what you want to do and someone will have some ideas. I often go to my local hardware store and run ideas by the guys that work there. It often saves me money and time since other people often have the same problems and do the same thing.
We made a frame out of pvc pipe that would fit across the pond and then fastened small hole netting to it and since then(1yr) haven't lost any fish!!!!
I've had to net my pond because of both herons and cats. It was the only solution, the sprayer only worked for a short time and the ultrasonic device has to be moved on a weekly basis. Decoy herons do not work! Herons and egrets nest colonially, and so the sight of another heron actually piques their interest.
We have a large farm pond they fish it and don't scare off easy till I let the dog into the field . I would do the frame and net , where I am the raccoons are another problem .
Just take a picture of the fish in Bruce's pond and show it to the heron.
Tell the bird that if he touches your fish, Bruce's fish will come get him.
I think Bruce's catfishes eat herons.