All my fish but one have dissappeared. Need advice for defenses immediatly!!


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This is very sad but all my fish except one have disappeared. Obviously some animal has taken them away. I had 7 in all. All in the lower pond only.

The only fish left is my big coy and he refuses to surface even to eat.

Its been about a week since I went out there to check on them.

Here is my delima. My wife is very attached to them and I know this can go 2 ways. One, she doesn't want any more fish at all. Two, I can replace the fish and hopefully she won't notice for a while.

What bothers me is that they were covered at all times. I took some snapshots but it was dark and I didn't want to alert her to what I was doing.

My only time to get new fish would be tomorrow afternoon before she gets home from work but I must find the chink in my armor to defend them and come up with a solution or I'll just be feeding some animal.

Below is the pond. The dark pics I took tonight. I'm including one during the day to give you a better idea of what I have to work with.

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Also, if this really is indefensible and she discovers only one fish left and wants to abandon adding any more fish my coy will need a good home. Is there anyone in the DFW area who would be willing to take him off my hands free of charge if it comes to that? I will meet anyone at a neutral location. I only ask that he is provided a good home. He's about 12 inches across and around 10 years old.

Here is a pic. He's the white one.

IMG_0320.jpg
 
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j.w

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That is heartbreaking Tex. Was the net moved at all or able to be lifted up by and animal and then would it drop down into the same spot? Do you have it weighted down w/ anything or staked? That's all I can think of that could have happened. If you can tie it down somehow maybe that would help.From looking at it it looks as tho maybe something might be able to slip in at the waterfall end. :surfing:
 
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j.w said:
That is heartbreaking Tex. Was the net moved at all or able to be lifted up by and animal and then would it drop down into the same spot? Do you have it weighted down w/ anything or staked? That's all I can think of that could have happened. If you can tie it down somehow maybe that would help.From looking at it it looks as tho maybe something might be able to slip in at the waterfall end. :surfing:

Appreciate the kind words.

No holes in the net anywhere and it did not appear to have been moved at all. I can only guess possum or raccoon and I agree with your location assessment.

I've lost fish before but never all but one. It is sad :fish:

Looking around the net I see that pond netting is quite popular. I'll be buying that if I get new fish tomorrow. The problem defending this lower pond is that its only 2.5 feet deep and as you can see lopsided in shape to say the least.
 

j.w

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Yep you have to make sure nothing can lift it up or squeeze in somehow. I mean it has to be tight!
I don't have net on mine and wondered how heavy the net is in resistance to tearing by a raccoon or something? Best of luck to you and hope you can have more fish and be rid of the marauders.
 
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A not so wild guess, as the larger of the fish has not been taken, and something has got the smaller ones, its a predator which has its limitations, like the size of a snakes mouth.

The snake will move on now its taken everything it can find, perhaps round up a few tools suitable for chasing, catching relocating it, if it is still hanging around

Regards, andy
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addy1

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I would lean towards a snake or something of that sort. Not sure a coon would catch fish without making a total mess of the net plants etc.

Can you stake the net into the ground? so nothing can slip under it.
 
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adavisus said:
A not so wild guess, as the larger of the fish has not been taken, and something has got the smaller ones, its a predator which has its limitations, like the size of a snakes mouth.

The snake will move on now its taken everything it can find, perhaps round up a few tools suitable for chasing, catching relocating it, if it is still hanging around

Regards, andy
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I lost 3 goldfish which were extremely large. They were all 10 years old and at least 5 or 6 inches long. Thats the only reason I doubt a snake.
 

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Thats a tough loss ..button up the corners and sneak out and get new fish before the wife gets home
 

fishin4cars

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I seriously doubt a snake. VERY rarely will a snake eat more than one meal at a time, and even then it's going to be easy to catch food. Once a snake has eaten it's not prone to do a lot of moving and hunting. They need to find a place to lay up and let the food digest. Raccoon, Only way it would get that many is sit in one spot and fish or it would have wrecked everything! Heron, LOL SMART SOB's Get a trail cam, If it got one free dinner it will come back to get another. My pond was covered with leaf netting at the time we got attacked!!! Speared the fish moved them to the side and then reached under the net to get them out, Even got the 15" and 17" koi this way. Kids, OH yes, smart little buggers too! Otters or minks, Now these guys can slip in grab the food and get out with little or no effort, and they will lay right there and eat. I would set up some kind of recording device and try and figure out what is getting them before restocking. I know the feeling, last year during the big Heron attack we lost 22 fish in about a 6-7 day period. We ended up with six fish left in the pond, then the Owl came a long and got two of those and 1 replacement. Sorry to hear this! It sucks! I know!
 
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I've called a local pond store and they really believe it was a heron.

My problem with that theory is how. You all can see the pics. Does a heron really seem possible?
 
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Could you post a picture of the net on the pond in daylight hours so we can see every angle and how big the holes in the netting are? Take pics of each side and close up too showing any gaps in the side over the falls and how you attach it down.
 
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how about putting fishing line over the pond , The Heron won't see it , when it comes close it will get caught up in it , also maybe tie on something that makes a noise so when the line is moved it will scare the buggar off , I know this may sound funny , but i have a rubber snake in a coiled ready to spring pose , i dont get herons but i caught an owl once gauging his luck , i scared him off , next day i put out the snake and believe it or not , no birds no squirrels no raccoons and no opossums either . im guessing it works , you could also tie it to the line and really spook anything that touches the line ... i am a beginner i am sure there is better advice out there , just wanted to let you know what worked for me ..
 
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lenny jewell said:
how about putting fishing line over the pond , The Heron won't see it , when it comes close it will get caught up in it , also maybe tie on something that makes a noise so when the line is moved it will scare the buggar off , I know this may sound funny , but i have a rubber snake in a coiled ready to spring pose , i dont get herons but i caught an owl once gauging his luck , i scared him off , next day i put out the snake and believe it or not , no birds no squirrels no raccoons and no opossums either . im guessing it works , you could also tie it to the line and really spook anything that touches the line ... i am a beginner i am sure there is better advice out there , just wanted to let you know what worked for me ..

How close to the fishing lines have to be to each other?
 
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UPDATE:

So I managed to get off early and purchased new fish. I've placed the winter cover over them now which is this:

Picture008-1.jpg



If that doesn't keep them out I don't know what will.

For a lower profile form of protection, I'm thinking about barbed wire wrapped around the rocks especially the waterfall rocks with netting everywhere else along with some fishing line attached to some bells.

I'm also going to add a motion sensor camera to see if I can capture whatever predators are after the fish.

I will also add some large PVC pipe covered with a rock for added hiding for the fish.

Thank you all for your kind words and suggestions and keep them coming!

As far as what ate them I do have a question about herons. If one stood on the waterfall rocks and it was 4-6 inches from the water below the rock they were standing on, could they really get in there and take the fish?

And it did not happen overnight as far as I know. Its been a week since I've been out there.

The only good news is Whitey, my only remaining fish seemed to perk up when he saw playmates! :(
 
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addy1

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Maybe if there was a gap it could get its neck in, they are pretty quick if they spot a fish.
 

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Tie steel or plastic fencing to plastic pipe, place over the pond, then tie 1/2"square wire over that, Paint it all black with fish safe paint. No more problems. RDK
 
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you want the fishing line close but not too close to snare the culprit, the idea is to scare him off , as i said noise or another predator (fake of course) will scare them off , so tie it to the line and when the line moves so does the noise maker or the fake critter , just an idea i picked up .. it seems to work
 
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fishin4cars

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lenny jewell said:
you want the fishing line close but not too close to snare the culprit, the idea is to scare him off , as i said noise or another predator (fake of course) will scare them off , so tie it to the line and when the line moves so does the noise maker or the fake critter , just an idea i picked up .. it seems to work

Don't know by what you mean by a fake predator, But if your talking about a fake heron, Don't waste your money. I think they attract more than scare away. If you were local and wanted one I would give the one I have away for free. Biggest waste of $40 I have spent on predator protcetion for my pond! Oh and the fake owl isn't much better,
 

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