Protecting Your Fish Pond from Predators
Fishing on your land has been a dream and you’ve just stocked your pond with a huge catch of fish. The last thing you want is to watch your fish disappear because of local predators. Being aware of the local habitats near you and figuring out the best prevention methods will keep the fish in your pond where they’re meant to be.
Know the Natural Predators Near You
Pond predators can keep your pond habitat balanced, helping with pond management. It’s when the predators begin to take over that problems happen. Some of the most common pond predators are leeches, herons, raccoons, frogs and snapping turtles. If you aren’t sure which animals are common near you, you can contact your state’s fish and game department or find a local pond association. Well informed contacts can help you determine if your predators are out of control and how to protect your pond from further damage.
Predators can gain access to your pond through a variety of ways. Knowing your local animals will help you figure out how to prevent their entry to your pond. Raccoons, beavers and other land animals will attempt to gain access to your pond by foot. Birds can approach by air. The most fish happy birds are herons and kingfishers and they can annihilate your fish population within hours. You may also have turtles and amphibians attempting to enter your pond through water. Determining the local population will allow you to prevent the entry of the most harmful predators.
Control the Threat
There are a few different methods to help control the threat of predators in your pond. They focus on misdirection and control rather than eliminating animals. Decoys work well for herons since they are extremely territorial and will not infringe on another bird’s area. Repellants can be used to prevent land animals from coming close to your pond. Using taste and smell, repellants can keep deer, raccoons and beavers away from your pond area. Depending on the size of your pond, netting can be used to cover the surface. This can be most effective at night and during active predator seasons.
Protecting your fish from local predators can be accomplished. Besides distracting predators, make sure your fish have hiding places in your pond. If building a pond, make sure it’s deep enough for the fish to hide and provide floating vegetation for them. Predators want an easy hunt, so the more difficult you make it for them the better.