2022 caught 20 , 2023 #22 - #27, 2024, #28 Caught # 29 seen next I hope

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I'll come set up a blind get some great shots of the fawns and nail the snake with a wrist rocket/ sling shot
 
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looks like water snakes to me. Got any skunks, raccoons, foxes? They are all predators. I wonder what happened locally to make the population search out a new home?

PS. What about a fake owl?
 
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addy1

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I'll come set up a blind get some great shots of the fawns and nail the snake with a wrist rocket/ sling shot
lol no fawn shooting..............those big brown eyes.................. Hard to nail snakes when they decide to do a no show, but you know they are here.
 

addy1

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looks like water snakes to me. Got any skunks, raccoons, foxes? They are all predators. I wonder what happened locally to make the population search out a new home?

PS. What about a fake owl?
Northern water snakes. We have skunks, raccoons, foxes, owls, hawks, deer etc etc
I think the big fat snake we had here last year was a mama. Before I could trap her and she was huge, she disappeared then I found a skeleton. But I believe she dumped a load of kids in the yard.
20210602_160911.jpg
 

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Would love to have just one of those snakes get in my lily pond. Got a dozen tiny feeders last year, now have dozens of gold fish!
 
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Wow where do you live in Wa.? I have never seen any big enough to eat that big of a fish or have never even had any bother my fish. I live up North in Arlington.
I live in the willapa hills area. I didn't think they would bother them either, it's only been a problem the last 2 years. The ones this year were not as big as last year by any means but still dragging the newer, smaller fish out :/. 2-3 feet long is not uncommon here and there are tons of snakes around but normally their heads don't really look big enough (though I've seen even a small garter snake eat a banana slug). The large ones I found were both big and wide with heads at least an inch wide and a much thicker than normal body (no idea how long as I didn't stretch them out to measure, but longer than normal as well). Since they couldn't actually consume the big fish, they must have grown big on the small ones. At first I didn't realize they were catching the fish just noticed unusually large snakes around. Last year I found one of the giant ones in a bucket where I had temporarily placed some of the fish to take inside due to the mass disappearances. At that time I yelled at it and it slithered out which unfortunately made it harder to catch later as it was leery of me by the time I decided it needed to be relocated.

One thing you might try addy is see if anybody near you has a dog that kills snakes. We used to have a dog that would kill any snake he saw (maybe he had a bad experience in the past somewhere with poisonous snakes? I felt sorry for them as they were not causing any harm to him or others). You could borrow such a dog for a while to live near the pond and either kill or scare them off. Or if there is anything else in your area that eats the snakes (hawks and eagles here eat them occasionally but they don't have much effect on the overall population).
 

addy1

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I know of zero dogs that would catch snakes.

The last one we saw has not been around, no idea if it moved on or is just not showing its flicking tongue. The traps will be set for the rest of the summer, I just need to rescue the fish and tads that swim into it.

We have a lot of snake predators, hawks, fox, heron, etc. Maybe one of them grabbed this one.
 
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@addy1 is there anyone around that has a couple of geese they'd lend you? I think they might chase snakes and other varmints, they'd like the water and I don't think they eat fish (but they may nip you if they are In A Mood).
 

addy1

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@addy1 is there anyone around that has a couple of geese they'd lend you? I think they might chase snakes and other varmints, they'd like the water and I don't think they eat fish (but they may nip you if they are In A Mood).
nah just chickens and the fox eats them.
 
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What kind of snakes are they, Addy?
I had a large brown water snake in the goldfish pond one year when I lived in IL. She was killing/drowning the larger goldfish almost daily before she made the big mistake of going into the skimmer to hide. Was easy to net her then. Was about 4’ long and nearly 2” in diameter! Put her back in my pasture pond, but a month later she came back, so I had to kill it. Probably should have relocated it farther away. Just didn’t want to lose another dozen fish before I was able to catch it again.
 
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The big snake I mentioned caught the large 8-10” goldfish by the head, held them under water and since they couldn’t move their mouth/gills, they would drown. I figured they came back to eat them later, although I only saw two dead fish on the bottom of the pond before I spotted the culprit!
BTW, I bought one of those minnow traps to catch our 140+ koi and goldfish babies in 2020. They fish would swim in … and then back out. Never caught more than a couple fish. Ended up having to drain the pond down to 12” the following spring, and that was after setting up two seine nets and attempting to catch the fish in between them.
I sure hope you get rid of the snakes soon, and that they didn’t propagate again before you caught them. Snakes are hard to catch!!!
One suggestion I don’t see you’ve tried … wondering if a spotlight at night would work to blind them so you could net them? I realize you have plants, so that may not work either, but I do remember gigging a big water snake one year while going after frogs at night. Now I wouldn’t dream of hurting a frog.
 

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