Save Your Fish: Heron-Proof Your Pond
Herons are beautiful, graceful, and . . . hungry. When you
notice fish vanishing mysteriously, think ďheronĒ Ė especially
in the spring and beginning of summer when new, baby herons need
Grown herons consume almost a pound of fish daily. That amounts
to about three, seven-inch, $40 koi of the lower-priced variety.
Or if you're really unlucky - a heron could fly away with a
several hundred or thousand dollar show koi (which I've seen
Colorful, flashing fish in a shallow pond tempt herons beyond
any far-fetched capability to resist. If you donít do something
quickly, your fish will soon be history.
Erecting a net six to twelve inches above the water of your pond
proves the most successful method in protecting fish. Tautness
is critical, though. Some herons may try landing right on top of
it, and when it collapses, will impale fish right through the
Characteristically timid, herons usually make their feeding
forays in the quiet hours of early morning or evening.
To hamper herons from feasting on your fish, here are some
simple solutions. But donít lose your temper and harm or
possibly kill one of these protected-species birds.
Gadgets used to frighten herons are fairly effective. With some,
when the bird trips a wire, noise scares it away Ė sometimes
inaudible to humans, depending on the type. Infrared-detection
devices spray jets of water to scare them off.
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Some people try plastic herons because of the heronís
territorial reputation and the fact that the birds donít like to
feed near other herons. These work pretty well until mating
season rolls around. Then these faux herons may actually serve
as heron magnets.
Limiting heron access to your pond may be the best idea yet.
Plant densely growing, tall marginal pond plants around your
water garden and make the pond sides steep, with water at least
a foot below the pond edge.
If the birds canít reach the water, they canít reach the
fish, and hopefully, theyíll fly off to better fishing luck