Can I remove my net for the winter?

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by Cathy Raphael, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. Cathy Raphael

    Cathy Raphael

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    I live in Newark, DE - near a park which has herons abiding in it during the summer. Of course they like to sit on the roofs in the neighborhood & see if they can see fish in everybody's pond (and many of us do have ponds). My pond is 6 x 8 x 3' - I dug it myself in clay - and I keep 2 aerator pumps going all the time. I have plants in it in the summer, and utilize pond enzymes to keep the Ph right.. I do not have a filter. Most of my fish are goldfish - comets and one fantail. They usually have babies in the summer. The only worries I usually have are the blue herons coming in and trying to feed there. Is it possible to keep my net off for the winter? Where do the herons go in cold weather?
     
    Cathy Raphael, Jan 21, 2018
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  2. Cathy Raphael

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

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    In my area, some herons will stick around as long as they can find open shallow water to hunt for food in. The rest head south in search of open waters. I imagine that if your pond is frozen over, your fish will be fine until it thaws out. If you don't get long periods of freezing weather, expect there to still be herons around.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Jan 21, 2018
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  3. Cathy Raphael

    Cathy Raphael

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    Thanks! It has not been frozen over until just 2 weeks ago when we had a cold spell. Also the net keeps falling leaves (or blowing leaves) out. I'd just love to take it off for a while - but I don't know if raccoons or something would try & go fishing in it at this time of the year.
     
    Cathy Raphael, Jan 21, 2018
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  4. Cathy Raphael

    Gemma

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    Hi and welcome to GPF! :)
     
    Gemma, Jan 21, 2018
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  5. Cathy Raphael

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I would not removed the net. We are usually colder than you are over in Delaware. When it was 2f and staying in the low teens and lower temperatures during the day, I spotted herons flying in and landing on rivers, ponds around us. I have pictures, somewhere, of a heron landing in the snow and walking up to our pond.

    I leave the net on year round. The herons are still here.

    Welcome to our group!
     
    addy1, Jan 21, 2018
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  6. Cathy Raphael

    mrsclem mrsclem

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    Hi And welcome Cathy. If you have herons in your area, your fish are not safe with the net off. Not all birds fly south for the winter. I removed my small weave leaf netting but kept the large opening net up. Check Addy1s posts regarding the netting she uses. It almost invisible.
     
    mrsclem, Jan 21, 2018
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  7. Cathy Raphael

    Lisak1

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    Welcome to the GPF! You're getting some great responses, so I will just leave it at WELCOME! (Although, maybe you'd like to ask later about the necessity of using those pond enzymes... ) ;)
     
    Lisak1, Jan 21, 2018
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  8. Cathy Raphael

    Jhn

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    Agree with the others. Herons stick around this area year round. I see them around my pond this time of year more so than the warmer months. I imagine because it is an easy meal this time of year and there are not many fish in the shallows of the local waters they feed in right now.
     
    Jhn, Jan 21, 2018
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  9. Cathy Raphael

    Cathy Raphael

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    What is a "pond breather" I am seeing mentioned in the forum?
     
    Cathy Raphael, Jan 21, 2018
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  10. Cathy Raphael

    Faebinder

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    I try not to remove it cause even though the leaves are mostly fallen, the branches get shaken in the winter winds and they fall in the pond.

    Netting all around all year except if there is more than 6 inches of snow coming.
     
    Faebinder, Jan 21, 2018
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  11. Cathy Raphael

    Cathy Raphael

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    I understand. We use a very fine black netting (which unfortunately traps young garter snakes as they try & get a drink from the pond - and my husband frees them - cutting the net). I support it with white metal supports (which I bought from one of the garden catalogues - meant to hold see-thru cloth for cold weather gardening). I was actually thinking of spray painting them black, so they would match the net and not look so ugly in the back yard. Sometimes they get really bent out of shape - but I think that's due to deer or wild animals trying to get into the pond.
    Where in the world do the FROGS come from? They just seem to show up every late spring. One year we had approx. 500 bullfrog tadpoles in the bottom of the pond! I gave them to small fish stores and to some grandparents in a mason jar so the children could watch them morph into frogs. I read it takes 2 years for a bulfrog tadpole to mature! They were about the size of marbles - large ones.
     
    Cathy Raphael, Jan 21, 2018
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  12. Cathy Raphael

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    addy1, Jan 21, 2018
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  13. Cathy Raphael

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I use a wide weave gill fishing net, opening around 4 inches. I hang it around 3 feet over the pond, from fence stakes. Traps nothing, lilies grow without issues, birds drink, frogs and snakes and whatever else visits without trap issues.
    But the Heron is kept away. It can not coil its neck and strike through the net.
     
    addy1, Jan 21, 2018
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  14. Cathy Raphael

    mrsclem mrsclem

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    Well, Addy, it does trap the occasional deer!
     
    mrsclem, Jan 21, 2018
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  15. Cathy Raphael

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    lmao.................sure did! That deer did make it out, just ripped it up a bit!
     
    addy1, Jan 21, 2018
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  16. Cathy Raphael

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    upload_2018-1-21_10-59-19.gif @Cathy Raphael
    I also use the wide weave and leave it on all year. Not much frozen water happens here in our area. The minute I took it off the Heron would be right there for sushi!
    upload_2018-1-21_11-3-18.jpeg

    upload_2018-1-21_11-3-29.jpeg
     
    j.w, Jan 21, 2018
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  17. Cathy Raphael

    bagsmom

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    I have a net with 3/4" openings and only have it for falling leaves and debris. I am kind of OK with the food chain stuff and my fish doubled in number the very first year, so a raccoon or two might be helpful! I put my net on in September, I think, and made it high on one side, so the leaves would slide down and not weigh down the net. Even though all the leaves have fallen, I still have the net on. We have some final blowing and yard clean up to do - as do some neighbors. Without the tall marginal plants up and growing, everything can get blown into the pond. Once everyone in our house gets and stays healthy, we can do yard clean up and I will take down the net. I'm looking forward to seeing everything in the Spring!
     
    bagsmom, Jan 23, 2018
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