Koi Rescue
Phoenix Arizona

Steel Heron And Other Deterrents

    By Daphna Gottfried

Hi Shorty,

I have attached a photograph of the pond.

We had problems with herons two winters ago. Last winter (2011) we tried three techniques to reduce heron predation.

1. The first was not to prune the trees to the south and west of the pond. The thought was that the herons would not have clear escape route and would be reluctant to get into this situation. They would have to escape in the same direction that they used to arrive at the pond. The herons appear to face to the west when we sighted them in the pond.

2. Second, we bought a steel heron and place it in the water or along the edge of the pond. The though was that a real heron might not want competition.

3. Third, we stretched a relatively thin net across the deep end of the pond. It did catch leaves and I had to rescue of koi that got caught in the net.

I do not know how herons thinks. Maybe the herons did not show up last year was because that they just went to another area or there was enough food in the neighboring city park pond.

There are good and bad points about the tree cover. The good point is that the birds may be insecure if they cannot see an escape route. The bad point is that leaves fall into the pond and it is difficult to clean them out of the water. The year that we did not have a full tree cover, we lost several fish. Last year, due to the tree cover and the net, we do not think that the herons stopped for lunch.

We have had a warm winter and the fish are more active. However, they are slower than usual and this worries me if the herons return.

I would like to read suggestions from other koi owners.

Another question, is there some real or artificial plant that can replace the lily pads during the winter? The koi can hide under them.

Daphna Gottfried

From Shorty: Hey, thats a neat idea about the fake lily pads for the winter. I just did a search and found some that are on amazon.