Several Large koi disappeared over winter

Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Country
I had around 20 larger koi (average 1.5ft long) and several smaller koi from a couple inches up to 8 inches just disappear from my pond over the winter. I'm in Michigan, and my pond is natural spring flowing water with a small over flow that has a screen. It is about 50ft by 20ft, and 2ft to 5 ft deep (varies) and is peanut shaped. I have had problems with herons, but never noticed any tracks in the snow all winter. I know they were all there before the first big freeze. We had several thaws over the winter, but my koi generally stay in the deepest part when its cold and so I never stressed over not seeing them, thinking they were in hiding under the sediment. I only have a handful of fish left, 3 largest being about 12 inches. No scales, no carcasses, no sign of anything happening. I don't have muskrats. We do have eagles in the area. Is it possible they took all my fish , and if so, how do I deter it from happening again?
 
A

Advertising

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
6,975
Reaction score
7,836
Location
Northern IL
Welcome to the GPF! Sorry that your first post is such a distressing one!

Is it possible that your pond water was high enough that the fish were able to get over the screen and into the natural waterway? I"m assuming that's what you mean when you say "natural spring flowing water". It is possible that predators took the fish without leaving any trace, but it seems odd that they could take them with the pond iced over.

Can you post some pictures?
 
A

Advertising

Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Country
Welcome to the GPF! Sorry that your first post is such a distressing one!

Is it possible that your pond water was high enough that the fish were able to get over the screen and into the natural waterway? I"m assuming that's what you mean when you say "natural spring flowing water". It is possible that predators took the fish without leaving any trace, but it seems odd that they could take them with the pond iced over.

Can you post some pictures?
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Country
There is no way for the koi to "escape" the pond because the outlet is a 10" culvert pipe that has 12ft of land between the pond and the other water source. I will post pics tomorrow, but my husband and I are truly stumped. This is our 3rd winter with the pond and have never lost a fish except for 1 last summer that was the victim of a hero n spearing it with its beak then leaving it lay due to it being too large to carry and we scared it off. The water was open off and on throughout the winter due to the numerous thaws we had and the flowing water. So an eagle is the only thing we can think of that would take them with no tracks or visible remains.
 

j.w

I Love my Goldies
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
25,006
Reaction score
14,879
Location
Arlington, Washington
Hardiness Zone
USDA 8a
Country
upload_2018-4-21_9-1-15.gif
@Rosanna Kott
Yes if you have eagles flying over that open unprotected pond they have a birds eye view of the koi and could swoop down easily and grab koi. The thing that would protect them would be a net. I had to do that myself and I bought a fishing net online to protect mine. Have it up on poles so I can get in there if I need to.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
1,174
Reaction score
649
Location
Hershey, PA
Hardiness Zone
6A
Country
This is a predator until proven otherwise.

If you wanna figure out what kind, you will need to put a camera. Bet it still comes around. Predators prefer the bigger fish.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Country
We had a camera up for about a month but caught nothing, however, there has been no more fish taken either. Not since I noticed that they were all missing in February, but hoped they were just hiding, which wasn't the case. I checked the entire pond yesterday. I'm going to put up a net and add more underwater hiding places then hope for the best. Thank you for your help.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
3,961
Reaction score
3,102
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hardiness Zone
6 A
Country
Welcome, but sorry for the loss of your koi. You say you don't have muskrats, what about mink or otters?
 

mrsclem

mrsclem
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
2,595
Reaction score
2,296
Location
st. mary's county, md.
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
Welcome Rosanna- If you have eagles, especially a nesting pair, then your pond has likely become their grocery store . We have eagles, osprey and hawks here and even with the netting up, they keep trying. They just cant resist the sight of a large brightly colored fish snack. A gill net suspended several feet over the pond should solve your problem. You have a very nice looking pond. I wish we could have done something similar.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,637
Reaction score
2,524
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
Welcome to the group!

Sorry you lost your fish!:( ...if not a predator, could they have been stolen?
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Country
We do have mink, but no other that we are aware of. It's just hard to imagine a mink taking that many large fish with so much as a scale left behind. There is a nesting pair of eagles about a mile North, they nest near the school in town. We actually watched one come through behind our barn within 20 ft of us as it swooped in and snatched a squirrel from a tree, so I am going to lay the blame on the eagles at this point, and do my best to deter them. They have a ton of natural water to fish from closer to them (2 rivers and a large dam area) but since it was frozen and my pond was not many times throughout the winter, my fish were the victims I guess. Thank you for the compliment on my pond, it is still a work in progress, but I am proud of what we have accomplished so far. Still so much more to do.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
3,961
Reaction score
3,102
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hardiness Zone
6 A
Country
Well, at least if it's eagles, you can net your pond to deter them. Mink are the most difficult pond predators to deter and I read on another forum where a person lost 100 koi in one week to a mink!
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
316
Reaction score
234
Location
Puyallup WA.
Hardiness Zone
8A
Country
Welcome to the forum. I wish it was under better circumstances than having lost so many fish:(
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
33,776
Reaction score
18,602
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
Welcome to our group! Sorry for your fish loss. I have watched eagles fish out of a pond in Colorado the owner of the pond nicely stocked it for them. Well it was stocked for him. He finally gave up on stocking.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
1,174
Reaction score
649
Location
Hershey, PA
Hardiness Zone
6A
Country
The reason why minks are worse than eagles is that pond depth is useless vs. minks. At least the eagles don't want to drown.
 
A

Advertising

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top