All my fish are gone...? Goldfish, minnows - 50+ fish completely gone. Fish rapture?


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Like the title says... I had 10 medium sized goldfish (common). Probably 6-7". Three of them were gold, 7 of them brown. Then I had a whole flock of minnows that have been reproducing over the summer. From fully grown, to small fry - I'd estimate 50-100 fish.

My pond is in Oregon, 8a/8b. It's roughly 1600 gallons. Filtered through a bog that is almost 80% the size of my pond. It's been up and running (clearest water I've ever seen!) since February.

The only thing I can think of that has changed is we got 3-4 inches of rain this weekend, and it was COLD. But if that killed the fish, I'd expect to at least see a few dead ones. I can't see ANYTHING in the pond. Just cold, clear water.

What happened?
 
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Raccoons was my first thought, but we've had raccoons in the yard a lot (lost two of my ducks this year) quite often. The pond is deep - 3 feet at the bottom, and 18" at the shallowest. We've noticed raccoon activity around the pond in the morning a number of times. They have even destroyed some of the plants in the bog by digging them up overnight. But the idea that a troop of raccoons could take out the entire fish population overnight seems super odd to me.
 
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Have you considered a mink or river otter, if they're native to your area? They are one predator that can easily wipe out a pond :( I'm really sorry for your loss.
 
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I had not considered a mink or river otter. I'm sure they are around here, but I'm in a suburb, we are a good mile away from the nearest river. But that would definitely explain it.

Well, I hope if the fish perished, they had a pretty good life. Originally feeder fish - smart enough and quick enough to escape the ducks. I'm not in a hurry to replace them. Although I did enjoy watching them on sunny days.
 
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I would think that any of the predators above would leave tell tale signs (fins, bones, ect) This IS a mystery! A snake would not leave much sign but the fact that ALL of your fish are gone at once might rule that out also!
 
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This morning I saw a handful of minnows sneaking around at the bottom, so it seems the Fish Rapture did not get a few sinners. There are some pretty decent sized folds in the liner that fish can hide in, so maybe it's hibernation time? We've been getting frost overnight these last few days.
 
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The fish could be hiding in the warm folds and depths. Hope they're ok.
Don't underestimate otter or mink travel distance. A local pond here (not mine) was cleaned out by an otter who came through the storm water system from that system's outflow area, a mile or so away. The pond people's camera captured the sight. :cry:
 
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Is there any chance a heron visited you? They are sneaky stinkers and soooo patient. They can clean out a pond in a day!
 
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mink and otter rip the fish apart leaving what they don't like like heads and tails. Birds swallow them hole in the case smaller fish nothing is left . i have seen blue heron devour a 24" to 30" sand shark
 
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Yeah, I have no intention of getting new fish any time soon. The disappearance happened overnight, not during the day. I don't know if herron hunt at night, but I was home all day (WFH) and my office looks out into the yard. I would definitely have noticed a large bird hunting for hours at a time!

We have a small cattle trough that we had used as a holding tank for aquatic plants and a few goldfish, and we had a raccoon hop into it and clean out all the small fish in there. But that was a small shallow tank, not a 3' deep 1600gallon pond.

I really hope they're not all dead, but I suspect the worst.
 
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Our heron came just before dawn, when it was still nearly dark. I ran out to chase him away and he wasn't scared in the least. I got pretty close to him and he stared me down. At that point, I realized how big he was and I decided to leave him alone!
 
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Put a camera by your pond to see if any predators return.
A trail cam is ok, but there are better and easier wireless choices available that you can view saved and live videos from your phone.
I removed the batteries from my cameras and connected solar panels to them. Less maintanance.
 
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The fish could be hiding in the warm folds and depths. Hope they're ok.
Don't underestimate otter or mink travel distance. A local pond here (not mine) was cleaned out by an otter who came through the storm water system from that system's outflow area, a mile or so away. The pond people's camera captured the sight. :cry:

Hope you didn't have any damage from Nicole SarahT...We just got a lot of rain and wind...I never thought of an otter finding my pond but I do have a storm water system running behind my property....hmmm....So far, after a year, I still have all of my fish...and Percy:) I can't believe the watersnake never took a fish..I guess he/she only had an appetite for frogs and tads.....
 
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This morning I saw a handful of minnows sneaking around at the bottom, so it seems the Fish Rapture did not get a few sinners. There are some pretty decent sized folds in the liner that fish can hide in, so maybe it's hibernation time? We've been getting frost overnight these last few days.
They are probably all hiding since your weather turned cold....
 
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Our heron came just before dawn, when it was still nearly dark. I ran out to chase him away and he wasn't scared in the least. I got pretty close to him and he stared me down. At that point, I realized how big he was and I decided to leave him alone!
Herons will not attack. They will stand there ground untill you are right up on them if they know there's a meal there. Swans and geese however will attack and they can be very threatning
 
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You may have had a night heron or a green heron . Both are half the size of blues and are very stealthy
 
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addy1

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The heron is taller than me when it stretches that neck up. But they fly as soon as they see me or very soon after. It has been back to my pond since I fixed the nets, but does not stay long. I think I have all the holes patched.
 

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