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Great Blue Heron at the Koi Pond Café

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Koi Pond Cafe, featuring fast food with gourmet ingredients.

For many omnivores, a Koi or Goldfish pond is a favorite dining experience. It gets great reviews and lots of repeat customers. You might want to put a “CLOSED” sign up to keep your fish off the menu.

Here are some suggestions for how to deal with one of the most notorious fish eaters frequenting garden ponds:

The Great Blue Heron – a magnificent bird.


Standing around 4 feet tall with an amazing wingspan of 5-7 feet, it is the largest heron in North America and dines mainly on fish. Spear fishing is a common technique for snagging their supper.

Some people might cringe at this remark…to me it is worth the sacrifice of a few goldfish to see this elegant beauty in action (sorry goldfish). There, I said it, but I would always give the fish hiding places, at the very least.

image14However, most people want to keep their fish from being eaten at all, especially a colorful koi collection.
There are various  predator control methods. Some depend on animal psychology, while others rely on Bart Simpson tactics. A more basic approach is the physical barrier – boring and not pretty, but it works.

Animal Psychology:

Place a fake heron beside the pond and move it to different locations periodically. Given that herons know the appetite of their own species; they think it must surely have eaten everything by now, so they leave. In more scientific terms, it is said that Great Blue Herons are territorial and not likely to invade another one’s space, but I like the first version better.

Bart Simpson Tactics:

It so happens, these can be fun October tricks as well as practical deterrents to pond predators…

Among others, a gadget called Scarecrow can frighten away almost any large predator. It is a motion sensor squirt gun, basically. Set it fairly near and facing the pond and approaching animals will get a jet of water sent their way. It is the surprise factor that does the trick. If you want to deter nosey neighbors, adjust the aim accordingly.

Floating Alligator could be a Halloween gag, as well as predator control. Psychologically, it presents a fearsome sight to many would be predators, including the Great Blue Heron.

Physical Barrier:

Pond Netting is an effective choice, especially for fall and winter months. It has the dual function of keeping both leaves and predators out of the pond. Use netting made specifically for this purpose to get the best coverage and durability.

Below is a link to instructions detailing how to install netting over a Koi pond:


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