Heron attacked Koi rest upside down


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Over the last few weeks, we've had 2 heron attacks. I've had wires around the pond that have protected the fish for 2 years but this season brought a smarter heron to our pond. I've tried a few things to protect the pond without having to cover with a net but now a net seems like the only protection.

Anyhow the 1st attack left 2 large koi on the garden as they were obviously too large for the heron to eat. By the time we realised the koi were dead. The 2nd attack happened to another large koi and was again left on the grass but this time it was still alive and was returned to the pond immediately. Apart from a scrape along its body there seemed to be no other damage to the fish.

It happened 2 weeks ago and although all the fish are pretty dormant with the cold temperatures the fish in question still swims around with the rest of the koi. However, a few times I've discovered it near the bottom of the pond upside down. A quick nudge with the net and its back up the right way swimming around again.

It seems like it just rests upside down for some reason and I'm unsure what to do?
 
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brokensword

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Not a lot you can do right now. It may/probably die before spring. I'd keep an eye on it and see if there's still movement. I don't think you have to nudge as this time of year, the koi should be dormant and not moving anyhow. Upside down doesn't necessarily mean it's going to die but it's not a great sign. I'm sure the attack left the koi weakened and therein is probably what will do your fish in as they're more susceptible to pathogens coming out of winter just as it is.

Hopefully this is a strong fish and it will recover. IMO, doing anything now like medicinal intervention would probably stress the fish to the point of no return, but others can chime in and set me straight. If mine, I'd leave alone and watch and pray it recovers and makes it out of winter.

And yes, a net, securely fastened on all sides and lifted up over the pond at least 12", is the best passive way of protection. Unless you have lots of time and a loaded .22 or maybe a dog that likes heron sandwiches.

I'd either lift the net high enough so you can easily go under, thus leaving it up permanently, or find a nice easy way to 'fold/roll/lift' back the net every time you're out and enjoying the pond. Depends on how large your pond is as to how much effort this would be but I'd rather sit by the pond without seeing/dealing with a net, however effective it is. My pond is enclosed/screened, so in essence, I've netted permanently and 'lifted' it far overhead so I don't deal with it nor have to see it, necessarily. @addy1 has a setup where it's lifted high on poles and she can stand underneath, but it's permanent.
 
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Thank you for your reply. I have left it 2 weeks and the fish looks perfectly fine when swimming around so hopefully its a strong one.

I wasn't sure if his time out of the water was to be a concern and if that could cause any floatation issues.

I will just keep my eye on it for now, unless someone else has had a similar experience and resolved it somehow.

thanks
 
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Agree with advice @brokensword gave you. I'm really sorry this happened. I have my pond covered with a solar cover in the winter and a net at all other times.
 

j.w

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@sam_1
So very sorry this happened and a net is the only thing that works to protect my fish. I have mine up on posts and the net hangs down to a short wire fence it is attached to so that pond is protected from other critters also that might just push through the net hanging down.
 
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sissy

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sorry to hear but amazed at how predators figure things out .,I think they are smarter than we give them credit for .I had an owl here for awhile and he never came near the pond but you never know .He seemed to be happy with mice and moles he caught and bread I would throw out and then 1 day he was gone
 
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