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Fish Attacked by ???

Posted by terrydun 78681 (My Page) on
Sun, May 31, 09 at 10:16

Hi, Glad to have found this forum. I have a small Koi pond, maybe 1000 gallons, with three Koi and now one goldfish. At 7AM Saturday, I went out to feed the fish, and one of the goldfish, was lying on our patio next the the pond, with a large cut along its gill, flesh hanging, and bleeding. I spent hours trying to help, knowing that it was likely a lost cause. I live in a densely populated neighborhood where I have never personally seen a racoon. However, The night before the attack, I did see a very large bird fly slowly over our swimming pool. We live near Austin Texas. I have seen very large water birds at a lake about 10 miles away. The fish that was killed was about 5-6 inches top to bottom, and maybe 8 inches long not including the flowing fins and tail, which appear to have been nipped at as well. I am trying to figure out what happened here, so that I can understand what I need to do. The 3 Koi are 12-15 inches long, and the remaining goldfish is very young and maybe only 3 inches long. I have not see the smaller goldfish since this incident. It may be gone too. I do know that my pond is too shallow, having read about crane/heron attacks, but I have never had this problem in the 5-6 years I have had such ponds. If you have any thoughts on what I should be looking for to figure this out, or any ideas on how to prevent future attacks, I will be grateful. Any thoughts will be much appreciated. Terry

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fish Attacked by ???

While I am not familiar with the Austin area, I can promise you probably have a huge group of predators that know all about your pond. I am an insomniac so I get to see a population of critters that would horrify my neighbors. There are many birds that could be the culprit. Hawks, eagles, owls, kingfishers and of course the herons are starting or ending their hunts at sunrise or sunset when the fishies won't see them as easily. Then you have raccoons, coyotes, turtles and other 4 legged hunters and snakes. About the only thing that does the job well is a net. Many ponders resist it thinking it is too noticeable but it is the most effective against birds. The least noticeable is bird netting. For the larger critters a Fido Fence or similar device works well. Or you can sit by the pond at night as I do and scare the heck out of them with a good shot from a water hose at full force. If you need the sleep, a water cannon such as a Scarecrow works well for me. Sandy

RE: Fish Attacked by ???

If plants were disturbed as well, most likely a raccoon. I can assure you that they are there even if you never see them.

If plants are still pristine then a heron is the next most likely culprit. Something could have scared him off before he ate the fish. Usually they grab and swallow in one motion but if the fish is big they do stab them and leave them on the outside of the pond.

If you want to see them, get up really early just before sunrise and wait quietly. My husband has to get up at 4:30 for work and he sees the raccoons in our yard at least once a week....

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