mink in pond

chimswftJuly 4, 2010

I had an overpopulation of fish in my 1500 gal pond and I was having no luck in catching some to reduce the numbers. Nature found a way. A mink showed up yesterday and I've found 4 carcases of smaller shubunkins and my 4 largest koi (14") have disappeared. There is a cave and lots of lily coverage but I fear the worst. He comes and goes with impunity, even swims around when I'm watching helplessly. I've baited a live trap with tuna, to no avail (so far).

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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annedickinson

I have no suggestions other than the live trap. Good luck. They are slippery critters and the ones we used to have around our dock did a lot of their hunting at night; we'd find piles of clam shells on the dock in the morning.
Anne

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:37AM
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ccoombs1(7B SC)

A string of electric wire around the edge of the pond is about the only thing you can do to deter them. They will keep coming back until no fish are remaining. Catching and killing fish is a game for them....they will kill them all and not even eat what they kill.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 12:28PM
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chimswft

A mink visited 3 years ago and did as you suggest, pitched several fish on the lawn - hee, haw, great fun. But he disappeared, likely to a larger, faster predator. This one is now back for a second day, and I'm guessing he is eating them, because I see far fewer fish in the pond and only 4 carcasses. Electric fence won't be real easy here due to the irregular perimeter with assorted large boulders and dense plantings.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 12:59PM
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mike_il(WChi)

Mink can be a major problem. In the area that I live I never here about problems with mink during summer. The only time they are a problem is during the winter. During the winter when all the natural water bodies freeze over and food is hard to find they are forced to come near people. They come in at night and use the hole in the ice to dive in and remove the fish one at a time. They take the fish back to their den where they eat them. We never see any body parts or any sign that they have been there other then some tracks. Any other time of the year they are too afraid of people to bother with garden ponds when there is enough food else where. Catching them is very difficult. Do not handle the trap with bare hands. Put the trap in the area that they are going into the pond. Cover the trap with tree branches to make it look like a den. Get some mink scent from a place like Gander Mountain. Put some in the trap and a small amount leading to the trap. The Tuna is a good bait. Hopefully you will catch him. If you do either kill him or take him at least 10 miles away. The other thing you can do is cover the pond with a net all the way to ground to keep him out.
Good luck
Mike

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 2:45PM
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chimswft

My neighbor used the trap earlier in the week and, lucky guy, caught himself a pepe la pew. It didn't spray but there is a bit of residual "eau de skunk". I will try your suggestions tomorrow about the mink scent and handling the trap with gloves. That is, if there are any fishies left. He was back in the pond a short while ago, so this dude does not believe in only night feeding. Dear wife is out there with a shovel - figures she'll be able to whack it!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 4:27PM
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reneenovack

The best way to trap a mink is to place a claw trap in the water on a ledge where mink may enter. It may take several traps to ensure success . Secure it with a chain or rope anchored to the bank to prevent mink from taking it with him and drowning far away in the water. Minks will not go for a live trap cage with tuna for bait- they like live fish in water. Make sure trap is under water-place signs to let people know traps are there so no one gets hurt.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 4:51PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Please check with the local wildlife agencies for info on the legality of certain types of traps. Claw traps are nasty and too frequently maim rather than kill. Often they are illegal and fines are high. Kill only if you must but please don't torture.

One spring and summer in Wisconsin we had the experience of caring for 7 female raccoons who were missing legs due to those traps and keeping them and their assorted babies fed while they healed enough to survive on their own. The wounds were devastating. It is a horror to watch an an animal with a leg rotting off bit by bit because of an illegal trap. We couldn't confine them because we didn't have a rehab license and if we had confined them their babies would have starved to death. There are ways to manage the wildlife problems without that kind of ugliness. A gun would be more merciful.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

Thank you Sleepless. I was going to say the same things.
Min

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:34PM
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s8us89ds

I wouldn't kill the mink. My miniature dachshunds look a lot like minks. A cage trap is good enough for rats, isn't it? Release the little critter in the woods far away.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 8:06PM
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