Pond Tips – Protecting Fish
One of the common problems that people have with ponds over the winter (and at other times of year) is herons taking the fish. Despite information to the contrary herons are not particularly territorial and can tell the difference between a real heron and a plastic one. This means that a plastic heron next to your pond will not deter the real thing from eating your fish. The only thing that really keeps herons off are nets or wires over the pool as they are big birds and very wary of getting entangled or not being able to take off easily. Deep areas in the pond also help because the heron will generally not get into deep water so can only catch fish from the edges.
Herons are very efficient fish catchers so if one homes in on your pond then it can be very difficult to keep your fish in one piece. Photo by Phil Johnston
Apart from herons the other big fish killers are mink. These seem to have started visiting ponds in Scotland in the last four or five years and, unlike the heron, will clear the entire pond of fish in a few nights. As they are not native and have a serious impact on native wildlife they can be killed but this is not easy to do and probably best left to a pest control expert. Herons, quite rightly, are protected by law.