Otters and magical thinking


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I finally got my heron problem solved only to be discovered by an otter last week. Of course, he cleaned out every last koi, all raised from fingerlings. The pond is in my backyard, 5000g and designed for koi: vertical sides, no shelves, 4-5' deep. I'm in a suburban area (lots a little under an acre) outside of Seattle. So shooting and trapping aren't realistic options due to neighbors, dogs, kids, and wall-to-wall wildlife advocates.

I've been told that electric fencing is the only other tactic that works. That's possible but I still have concerns about neighbors, dogs, and kids.

Hoping against hope that a non-electric perimeter fence around my yard could keep them out. Has anyone had success with traditional fencing, or know someone who has?

Thanks for your help. This is a tough one.
 
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My thoughts, however I'm no expert...you got me thinking...you ask traditional fence or electric fence. If you're worried about pets and children, do both. Traditional fence around the whole area and electric fence inside that. The traditional fence doesn't need to be too tall.
 
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I don't know if they are all the same, but I once accidentally bumped my arm against one of those electric fences they use for horses. That was quite a shock! My arm hurt for maybe 30-40 minutes after that. I'm an Electrician. I've been shocked a few times over the years, but never felt one like that and it was for only a split second.
If an otter gets hit with that, it will be a lesson he will never forget!
 
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Thanks addy1, I've been living on google for the past few days. There are references to otter-proof fencing and stories of effectiveness from the UK, but an equal number of contradictions. My state wildlife dept. says a 4' wire fence will work with an apron to keep them from digging under. But there are also YT videos of the critter climbing trees and jumping to the ground. I'm hoping to find some boots-on-the-ground experience with fencing.

poconjoe, that's exactly what I'm thinking. An electric fence well inside the perimeter fence would work, I'm fairly sure. But I still have to worry about our elderly dachshund, the neighbor's golden that jumps our fence, and my wife who will *undoubtedly* forget to turn it off when gardening. That will ultimately hurt me far more than it hurts her. :). But right now that's the default solution unless I can turn the backyard perimeter into San Quentin.
 
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I'm an Electrician. I've been shocked a few times over the years, but never felt one like that and it was for only a split second.
If an otter gets hit with that, it will be a lesson he will never forget!

lol, they say a 7000 volt reading on the fence line from a transformer strong enough to power a 10 mile fence will "discourage" an otter. I can see why! I would *hope* that we could de-power the fence after a year and maybe take it down after 2-3 years. But that's probably unfounded optimism.
 
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Oh, I"m sorry ....I ve read stories of them wiping out entire ponds :( I've also heard minks are fierce hunters too. Are there any type of traps you could use, with pieces of fish as bait?

On another site, a man had a relentless mink. He became absolutely obsessed with getting it and finally shot it.....he lived somewhere like Iceland or Norway.
 
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From what I've read it's difficult to trap them alive if at all. I'd need to know which route they take or how they get into the pond. And in all the trapping videos I've seen they set the trap in about 6" of water. And, no matter what I bait it with I'd catch my dachshund twice a day. :)
 
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Oh my gosh... that's a challenging problem. Another dog maybe? An otterhound? haha! Just kidding,.. I know one of those. He'd be useless.

Good luck!
 
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Perhaps you can try a deterant, such as coyote urine, and just the electric fencing around the pond. And before you get more koi, try inexpensive bait fish in the pond till you get the otter detered for sure.
 
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I don't know if they are all the same, but I once accidentally bumped my arm against one of those electric fences they use for horses. That was quite a shock! My arm hurt for maybe 30-40 minutes after that. I'm an Electrician. I've been shocked a few times over the years, but never felt one like that and it was for only a split second.
If an otter gets hit with that, it will be a lesson he will never forget!
That's the difference between 120/240 AC, and 40kv/80kv DC. :D
 
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