Where are the fish? You walk outside to feed your fish one day and when you reach your pond you find all your beautiful fish gone. How can this be? You look for Fred, Lucy, TA, and all your other fish but can’t find them. Your heart races to your mouth, you run around your pond, you check your skimmer, you want to scream but can’t, and you search your yard. Where or where can they be? Did a neighbor take them; did your wife sell them? Did a thief come during the night? There is a good chance that a thief did come during the night. That thief even wears his mask all the time.
One of the main predators to ponds that do not have steep sides at least 2 feet deep is the Raccoon. These adorable-looking creatures are nocturnal (night) feeders and their main dish is protein that comes from streams and ponds. Raccoons generally won’t enter the water if they can’t wade into it. They usually can’t hold onto their fish and swim.
They will climb over the roof of your house to get to the source of food. They can also destroy your plants trying to get to your fish. The best control for these is to live trap them. If you do live trap them they must be moved 20 miles from your pond or they will find their way back to your yard. Some people have used tampons soaked in fox urine and suspended these around their ponds. A good dog will help but raccoons can lead your dog into the water, get on their head, and drown your dog in as little as 6-8 inches of water.
Herons are other predators that have not only eaten fish but have also wounded fish with their bill trying to spear them. These large birds can stand 4 feet tall and can clear your pond of fish in short order. They feed during both day and night. Herons are a protected bird. It isRead more on backyardgardener.com