Herons and water loss


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I have a very large clay bottomed pond, the pond has been planted up with various Lilys and bulrushes which are growing like crazy to the extent that I have bought a boat to try to pull them up.The smaller leafed lilies have spread like a fungus network so I cannot row the boat through them its like a strong net on the water's surface.I think I may have a better chance wearing chest waders to wade out and rake them in slowly but there should be a warning from the aquatic retailers that the plants may be too invasive.The other problems is from two Herons that continually try to land in the pond luckily the pond is muddy at the moment so they cannot see the smaller fish and the big Koi and grass carp don't seem to attract them. I was going to buy a pellet rifle but was informed that here in the uk it is totally illegal to shoot them as they are a protected species, just wish Koi had the same distinction.I bought two scarecrows that seemed to work for a month but they are returning here at the moment the dogs chase them off when I shout "pigeon".
I have probably around 50 fish in this pond but this year I have only seen the largest 3 most days the others have shown themselves on very few occasions.The water level relies on a small stream form the hill running down farm land across the road from our house, the overflow was built up to a level of around 4 foot so the pond should be 4 foot deep but alas the water trickles through the large drainage tower which is about 8 foot in total at a much lower level so the pond only gets up to 4 foot when it rains for prolonged periods.I bought sodium benolate (not sure of the spelling) which cost about £120 for two sacks and I poured this in close to the outlet where its supposed to expand and seal the leakage areas but alas it did not make a bit of difference. I worry that the heron will eat all my fish due to this when I am on holiday in Spain but I read a lot of stuff about herons and it is impossible to stop them unless you net the pond which looks horrendous.
 
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When it comes to stopping or reducing heron predation, most fishkeepers do recommend a net or other physical barrier, such as a cage or even a screened-in structure. Perhaps you can have the 'drainage tower' altered to keep the pond deeper. Heron can dive for fish, but the seem to prefer to wade. Hopefully the plants and muddy water are helping protect your fish, you might not know until the water clears.
 
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addy1

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I did alligator heads, fishing line, fencing, chicken wire fencing, fishing line over the pond, nothing stopped them until I put up a wide weave gill net. 4 inch holes hanging about 2 feet over the water. The herons still fly over but keep going instead of visiting. It was a 4 year battle until I stopped them. Even had one land in the snow to fish one January.
 
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When it comes to stopping or reducing heron predation, most fishkeepers do recommend a net or other physical barrier, such as a cage or even a screened-in structure. Perhaps you can have the 'drainage tower' altered to keep the pond deeper. Heron can dive for fish, but the seem to prefer to wade. Hopefully the plants and muddy water are helping protect your fish, you might not know until the water clears.
Yes I could have the sectional tower altered but the water is getting out of the pond via either old rabbit warrens or maybe where tree roots have entered its extremely difficult to discover where its getting through. I cannot have a net over the pond because it would have to be absolutely huge to and very expensive to construct.The land was marshy when we bought the house 4 years ago the stream went through and defended under the main road next to the field.
 
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There is a woman in NY with very large clay ponds who breeds koi. She also had a heron problem, along with other predators and had to put nets over her ponds. She managed to get it done somehow. And yes, the nets are huge.
 
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Well she owns a commercial enterprise and does not want to lose revenue we want a pond to look great because its in our own garden and not a money making project.
 
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Please don't jump to inaccurate conclusions. It's not a commercial enterprise, but her hobby and her passion. She gives away literally 1000's of koi each year. She doesn't need to sell them. And it's her home and her garden, too.

I admit it doesn't look so beautiful. But at some point you have to make a choice between how it looks and the safety of your fish.
 
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Well she owns a commercial enterprise and does not want to lose revenue we want a pond to look great because its in our own garden and not a money making project.
You could pond-garden for herons. I've brought this idea up before and everyone thinks I'm joking, but herons are very ornamental wildlife, ecological functions aside. It doesn't even have to be a complete either/or. You would have fish, but you would also accept that you will need to replenish stock on an occasional basis. You probably wouldn't want to buy expensive fish in this scenario. Besides, drab or native fish would have a better chance of surviving anyway.
 
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I think if you did this, you would be constantly replacing the fish. The herons would invite all their relatives, friends and neighbors to the new restaurant and the fish would soon be gone.

Even one heron can wipe out an entire pond full of fish in no time. Happened to a friend. Fish that were too big to eat were stabbed and thrown out of the pond. The smaller ones were all eaten. This was a single attack in one day.

It would be like leaving veggies from your garden out for the animal pests to eat in order to keep them out of your garden. It would only encourage more critters to sow up and eat more of your produce.
 
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Please don't jump to inaccurate conclusions. It's not a commercial enterprise, but her hobby and her passion. She gives away literally 1000's of koi each year. She doesn't need to sell them. And it's her home and her garden, too.

I admit it doesn't look so beautiful. But at some point you have to make a choice between how it looks and the safety of your fish.
Hi
Sorry it did sound like a business venture on reading your comment but good on her she sounds an inspired lady.My partner and I just wanted an ornamental pond just wish we had gone for a no fish one, ha! or should I say natural pond.The fact is after we have stocked the pond with fairly expensive fish to make it look more attractive the last thing we wanted to do was buy a huge net to cover it up so it looks like we will have to live with the herons and just hope my two labradors will frighten them off coming here.
Regards
John
 
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Well I will make sure the lights are off as they cannot see in the daytime here the water is so muddy.
 
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