It sure has been a long pond cleanout season. During this time some of you have come to the shop mentioning your fish are nowhere to be seen. Now we all know fish can’t just get up and walk out of the pond so a real and logical answer behind this fishy tale is predators. That’s right! Whether it be a Heron or a fisher cat, perhaps even a river otter (yes, I have heard of these cute little creatures helping themselves to a little snack in some ponds in CT) we have some solutions for any of you willing to try to help save your finned babies. Let’s get cracking down on this case!
Now there are some simple solutions for those of you who know what is snatching up your beloved fish and even if you don’t know, there are plenty of things to try out. If you have a Heron situation we do supply Heron decoys here at Action. Simply put the plastic, painted Heron out by your pond and your fish will be swimming without fear in no time. Herons tend to like hunting their pray alone and if they notice another one of their kind, they will most likely stay out of their way and go somewhere else. For a quick tip; keep moving the Heron decoy around your pond in order to fool the real Heron.
Another option for Herons as well as other predators that roam your grounds is the Scarecrow. The Scarecrow is a motion-activated sprinkler system that blasts water at the predator when it crosses its path scaring the animal off. The only downfall to this option is that the spitter doesn’t know the difference between friend and foe so watch out if it tries to get you, too!
A pretty popular way to keep your fish safe is installing a fish cave. You can do so during a clean out, a new installation or just simply dropping a tunnel down into your pond. We have them here at Action or you can get crafty and build one yourself. The fish caves offer a place for the fish to go and hide when they get frightened and since it’s dark in color, it is hard to detect while standing above it. Another thing to keep in mind is lots of plant coverage. While plants are a great source of shade they also help the fish hide and stay safe. Plants that are great to use for coverage are floating water hyacinth and water lettuce since they tend to produce rapidly and fish absolutely love them.
If none of these options sound right for you, we offer a variety of nets to cover your pond. Although this is the least aesthetic option, your fish will thank you when a predator can’t get in to have them for dinner. Our nets come with stakes for you to anchor them into the ground but for extra weight, add some rocks or stone to hold the net down as well. It is also possible to put some wire around the perimeter of your water feature to try and confuse any predator that likes to walk in towards the pond. If something is in its way, it could possibly just give up and move along.
If anyone has any other ideas that have worked for them, please feel free to share your stories with us on our FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/ActionWaterGardens/, we’d love to hear what works for you so other’s can try as well!