Snakes in the pond


Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
117
Reaction score
84
Location
Beebe, Arkansas
I had to be a killer yesterday. I didn't like it, but it had to be done. A few weeks ago when entering my garden, which is next to my pond, I came upon a snake which, upon seeing me, immediately took off and jumped into the pond for safety. This has happened before as we live in the country and usually the snake leaves when the coast is clear and I never see it again. Now about this same time one of my koi disappeared and I couldn't explain it having not seeing a dead fish floating or in the skimmer basket. I bought a couple new koi and the day after one of them also disappeared. A short while later a goldfish disappeared. But then a week or so ago when I was feeding them early in the morning a snake swam by me close to the edge. Now I know what happened to my koi. The hunt was on. By the time I went into the house to get my gun the snake was gone. Everyday I took my gun with me when I fed, but no snake. Then yesterday morning there was a commotion in the skimmer basket. My pond is a 15,000 gal converted swimming pool so the skimmers are quite large and powerful as koi ponds go. When I removed the cover sure enough there was my snake along with the usual 5 or 6 toads trapped from last night's toady orgy. When I removed the basket the snake dove down to the bottom of the skimmer space to hide. All I had to do then was put the skimmer basket over the top and trapped it under water until it drowned. I felt good all day knowing I had gotten my snake. When I was feeding them last night I'll be darned if my dog, a pointer with a big nose, scared another snake out of the flowers and sent it into the pond. This time I ran into the house, got my gun, and waited for it to come up for air, which it did, and I promptly shot it and removed it. I respect all living things and hate to kill anything, but when not one, but TWO snakes use my prized koi pond as a buffet, that's the red line where I become a snake killer. Never had 2 in one day, I sure hope this isn't going to be a bad snake year.
 
Last edited:
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
475
Reaction score
392
Location
White Plains
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Know one enjoys killing, but when you bring a animal into your home its safety becomes your responsibility. The snakes would have stayed till all fish and frogs where gone. Where you able to ID type of snake ?
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
117
Reaction score
84
Location
Beebe, Arkansas
Yes. They are water snakes. We looked them up on google and the name is something like Yellow Bellied water snake. Can't remember the exact name, but they are very common here, and they live in and near water. They get quite large. One of them was 4 feet long and the other was just a bit shorter. So they can devour a good sized goldfish or small koi. I have quite a few mosquito guppies and rosey red minnows in my pond and their numbers were decreasing as well. I took the dead snakes down to my bass pond in the back and put them out in the open belly up so I'm sure a hawk or raccoon is enjoying them for breakfast this morning.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
12,139
Reaction score
12,351
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
You shot a gun into your pond? Weren't you concerned about shooting a hole in your liner?

Edited to add: not at all opposed to you ridding your pond of predators any way necessary. While I am a nature lover and understand the food chain, my fish are my pets - not wild animals. I would do the same to protect my dogs from snakes if their lives were in danger.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
3,291
Reaction score
3,128
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Does anyone know at what size koi become safe from snake?

I think I have a snake in my pond as well! I'm missing one koi 10-12" and the smallest one comes out to eat and then hides the rest of the time, also when out in the open I noticed it try to swim next or under the largest ones. Seems a bit of a coincidence that all the frogs are gone as well, that alone is usually a sure sign that a snake is visiting

All my koi other than these 2 are over 15", I think they're safe, but I'm about to start shopping for fish to fill the new pond and I have no idea at what size they would be considered safe from snake
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
117
Reaction score
84
Location
Beebe, Arkansas
You shot a gun into your pond? Weren't you concerned about shooting a hole in your liner?

Edited to add: not at all opposed to you ridding your pond of predators any way necessary. While I am a nature lover and understand the food chain, my fish are my pets - not wild animals. I would do the same to protect my dogs from snakes if their lives were in danger.

No problem with damaging the liner. First I didn't shoot until the snake was well away from the edge of the pool. Second, I was using a.22 pistol with a birdshot load. So I'm not shooting an actual bullet but a tiny shotgun shell. Third, the area I was shooting was over the fiberglass steps when it was used as a swimming pool and it is completely covered with rocks. So there was no problem because of where I was aiming.
You shot a gun into your pond? Weren't you concerned about shooting a hole in your liner?

Edited to add: not at all opposed to you ridding your pond of predators any way necessary. While I am a nature lover and understand the food chain, my fish are my pets - not wild animals. I would do the same to protect my dogs from snakes if their lives were in danger.
Does anyone know at what size koi become safe from snake?

I think I have a snake in my pond as well! I'm missing one koi 10-12" and the smallest one comes out to eat and then hides the rest of the time, also when out in the open I noticed it try to swim next or under the largest ones. Seems a bit of a coincidence that all the frogs are gone as well, that alone is usually a sure sign that a snake is visiting

All my koi other than these 2 are over 15", I think they're safe, but I'm about to start shopping for fish to fill the new pond and I have no idea at what size they would be considered safe from snake
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
117
Reaction score
84
Location
Beebe, Arkansas
Does anyone know at what size koi become safe from snake?

I think I have a snake in my pond as well! I'm missing one koi 10-12" and the smallest one comes out to eat and then hides the rest of the time, also when out in the open I noticed it try to swim next or under the largest ones. Seems a bit of a coincidence that all the frogs are gone as well, that alone is usually a sure sign that a snake is visiting

All my koi other than these 2 are over 15", I think they're safe, but I'm about to start shopping for fish to fill the new pond and I have no idea at what size they would be considered safe from snake
No problem with damaging the liner. First I didn't shoot until the snake was well away from the edge of the pool. Second, I was using a.22 pistol with a birdshot load. So I'm not shooting an actual bullet but a tiny shotgun shell. Third, the area I was shooting was over the fiberglass steps when it was used as a swimming pool and it is completely covered with rocks. So there was no problem because of where I was aiming.

It probably depends on the size of the snake. Seems it would take a pretty big snake to take a ten inch koi. Your predator could be a heron or hawk. I've had surviving fish act the same way as yours are after a bird attack. The only way to tell if you are dealing with a snake is to quietly sit by your pond for hours on end until it shows itself, usually very early in the morning at first light. That's when they move out of the water and go into hiding during the day.
 
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
475
Reaction score
392
Location
White Plains
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Gemma unfortunately snakes are not the best judge of size. Many chicken keepers will find a snake killed chicken, there is a slime on chickens head and neck from snake tiring to swallow it . The snake will give up realizing hen to big to swallow, but chicken is dead by this point.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
3,291
Reaction score
3,128
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
It probably depends on the size of the snake. Seems it would take a pretty big snake to take a ten inch koi. Your predator could be a heron or hawk. I've had surviving fish act the same way as yours are after a bird attack. The only way to tell if you are dealing with a snake is to quietly sit by your pond for hours on end until it shows itself, usually very early in the morning at first light. That's when they move out of the water and go into hiding during the day.
The pond is covered, so no bird, or ground predator can get the fish.
Gemma unfortunately snakes are not the best judge of size. Many chicken keepers will find a snake killed chicken, there is a slime on chickens head and neck from snake tiring to swallow it . The snake will give up realizing hen to big to swallow, but chicken is dead by this point.
I've had Garter and Ribbon snakes in the past (we relocated them) I know they took 5-7" fish, ALL the frogs, and possibly chipmunks
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
3,296
Reaction score
7,185
Location
Rhode Island, USA
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
I was using a.22 pistol with a birdshot load

Hopefully not lead

I took the dead snakes down to my bass pond in the back and put them out in the open belly up so I'm sure a hawk or raccoon is enjoying them for breakfast this morning.

Hopefully you completely cleaned up the birdshot before something ate it.
 
Last edited:

Jhn

Joined
Jul 3, 2017
Messages
1,987
Reaction score
2,017
Location
Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
Agree with Nyboy, on snakes trying to eat animals they have no chance of swallowing. See it all the time with water snakes dragging a decent size fish out of a pond to try and eat. Due to the fish shape it had no chance in swallowing it, but the fish is going to die regardless.

Had to get a water snake out of my pond last summer, used a minnow trap to get small fish to come into it then the snake got in to try and eat the fish.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
3,869
Reaction score
2,588
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
Maybe use one of those trail cameras to track any predators while you are absent. I've been thinking of doing that myself. I already own one from when I was trying to catch the person defacing my daughter's property. It holds an SD card and works on D batteries. It's color during daytime and black and white at night.
Another thought would be flood lights on a motion sensor.
 
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
475
Reaction score
392
Location
White Plains
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
A dead snake can still bite for several hours after death. Don't handle venomous snakes even when dead
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
3,291
Reaction score
3,128
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
I have seen this with big bullfrogs too, they catch birds but have no chance of eating them but they die regardless.
Going back in time, the problem started when a good size bull frog appeared, and now the frog is gone...could it be that there are no snakes in my pond, and the bull frog was to blame for the missing fish, and the behavior of the other fish (hiding and acting scared), and now that there are no small fish or frogs left the bull frog moved on?
 
Ad

Advertisements

brc

Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
67
Reaction score
29
Location
Cleveland
Hardiness Zone
6
Gemma go to youtube and type in bullfrogs hunting, you will be shocked

It's amazing, what a frog is able to stuff down its throat and digest - like a whole mouse, bones and all. If you think about the mechanics of how that could happen, it's kind of impressive..
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
12,139
Reaction score
12,351
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
@Nyboy - You mean like this one? We call him Mr. Bigg. And yes, he had already done away with every other frog in the pond. Eventually he moves on every year and then the little guys come back.

Mr. Bigg.JPG
 
Ad

Advertisements


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

Similar Threads


Top