Pedator attack, Myth debunking

Craigger7September 16, 2013

Hey guys
This is a subject that affects all of us pond lovers. My pond, like many out there is now the target of Herring. I have has this pond for 4 years and never lost a fish. Sunday morning I make my trip to the pond to do water testing. All my pooches are with me as usual. the first thing I noticed was blood splatters on the patio. After searching pooch feet for a bloody foot, I finally realized (Zero) my white showa, (Polly) a gin rin white and orange butterfly, and (Panzer) a large gin rin Sanago was missing. I originally thought I lost 5. My super cool Black Sanke (Licorice) has a superficial scratch on his side.
My first thought, it had to be a raccoon, but like all nurses, I assess. Raccoon as said to make a mess and leave dead fish on the side for other predators. There was nothing, only blood marks and a few scales. It can't be herring, there are no herring around here.
As you can see, the netting went up and just in time. Herring are said to be territorial. This is the main reason a decoy should work. I have seen many videos on youtube of herring walking right by a decoy.
As weather gets colder, fish in streams swim back to deeper water. This makes it hard on the herring. Our ponds are easy pickings for them. As I thought before, there are no herrings in this area. My pond was visited by 2 birds this morning simultaneously. As one bounced with the netting, another sat on my rooftop watching. This late afternoon, another was back to try the netting. I am putting a water line directly to the new pond to set up scarecrows. However until then, I just have to be on guard.

Craig

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Waterwoman

Herring is a fish. Heron is a bird.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:24AM
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CaraRose

I've heard most people say that you actually need two decoys, since herons are only territorial when nesting.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:43AM
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nancym1956

I wouldn't trust any kind of a decoy to deter herons. By my way of thinking, it's just announcing to the predator population that there is food there. And once they find your pond, they will empty it without precautions.

The scarecrow will probably work for a while, until it discovers that the jet of water doesn't hurt it. Loud, barking dogs are also good deterrents, since herons don't like to dine when they're being harrassed. However, the net is really the only fool-proof method of protecting the fish, provided its properly secured.

A true and rather humorous story: A friend of mine found a mannequin and set her out beside the pond with the heron decoy lying on its side at her feet, giving the illusion that she had killed it. In this case, it worked. The heron did a couple of fly-bys, and hasn't been seen since!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:46AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I've almost come to the conclusion that there is no one way to keep the herons or other predators away entirely. What seems to repel most only makes others curious or more determined. Maybe they are just really hungry. I haven't seen a heron except flying by, since putting up a pair of decoys.

That said, yesterday I looked up from the computer to see a lovely hawk perched on the back of a chair, watching the pond and the fishies. Guess the fall net goes up this week.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:19PM
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Craigger7

It was a mad Herring, with teeth like the "\ /". Thank you waterwoman, my bad. I've been checking the net everyday and I think its working. I've also heard on youtube clips of placing movement sensors hooked up to spot lights and a noise maker.
I feel bad for my fish, its getting cold here in Pennsylvania. The time of year I would pay closer attention to feeding for the winter closing. My fish are so terrified, I can't even see them in the caves.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 6:01PM
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