Koi Rescue
Phoenix Arizona

Koi Pond Deterrents For Herons

We love our koi, we make special ponds and filter systems for them, spend lots of time caring for them etc. After all this effort, one day you might come home from work and discover that your prized koi are missing. Unfortunately there are predtaors that roam and will view your koi pond as a food source. They aren't doing this to be malicious, it is simply how they survive.

The most common predator is a heron, they fly high in the air and can see your pond from a great distance and since most koi are bright colors, your pond becomes even more attractive for them to investigate.

Every pond is different, they are different shaped, are in different locations, have different owners with their own particular preferences so there is no single answer to deterring herons and other predators away from our koi ponds. Below are some of the things that have been suggested.

Vertical Walls For Pond Edges
Herons like to hunt by wading into the shallow water and standing there very still. The koi sort of loose track that a predator is in the water and swim past it, then BAM!, the heron will grab one. If the pond is built with vertical walls that are atleast 3 feet deep, the heron can't wade into the pond.

Short Fence Around Pond
Herons supposedly like to land in the middle of the yard and then walk over to the pond. Have heard they do not like to step over stuff, so if there is a short fence, even only a foot tall, the herons will not wade into the pond.

Bird and Pond Netting
A very simple solution that provides very good protection, setup a net over top of your pond. There are many types of bird netting, some has heavy line and is very strong, others are super light and easy to see through. If you have a short fence around your pond, you can suspend the net from the top of the fence posts.

Decoy Robot Fish
The idea is that a robotic decoy fish can be placed into the pond and the heron will strike at the decoy. This is supposed to alert the real koi that a predator is in the pond and spook them to hide till the predator is gone. I am not sure of any robot fish that can fool a heron, but if anyone has real experience with this, let me know.

Motion Sensor Sprinkler
There are various motion sensor sprinkler systems that when something goes in front of them, they will momentarily turn on a sprayer. Infact, the guy down the street has one in his front yard to keep the kids off his lawn. I have seen a few of these and they do seem to work if their sensitivity is turned up and the air temperature is below 75 degrees. The problem with the air temp is if the air is too warm, the sensor can't detect the heat coming from the bird. The other problem is owners will turn the sensor off to go feed their koi and forget to turn it back on again, so possibly using a timer would be a good idea.