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#79520 12/03/06 04:03 PM
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We have a huge blue heron at our pond! What is the best thing to do?

#79521 12/03/06 04:55 PM
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Deep fried taste the best.


Bullheads and Carp are the devil~
#79522 12/03/06 05:15 PM
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That depends on what you want to happen. If you don't mind a number of fish being eaten and some others being scared and the potential for it adding parasites into your pond and fish then leave it alone and watch. They are beautiful birds. On the other hand you can run them off with constant harassment if you can be there to chase it around. Dogs are good for chasing off wading birds if the pond is small. If you want to get rid of it and can't chase it off then all I can tell you is some here suggest that shoot , shovel and shut-up is an effective method.
















#79523 12/03/06 05:29 PM
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Life is Good on Bremer Pond

Bremer Pond Weather
#79524 12/03/06 05:47 PM
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I run stainless wire around the pond right at the waters edge where the birds like to hunt. I keep the wire about six inches above the water line. The birds like to land next to the pond, then wade to the spot, so they hate the wire. I've also added some fake Great Horned Owl decoys that Cecil helped hook me up with. This has limited the heron hunting quite a bit.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#79525 12/04/06 04:35 AM
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I have gone all the of the ways stated above and I now tolerate. The birds eat between 5 and 10 fish a day. The tilapia spawn about 200 a week, so I am looking at the birds more as a fellow fisherman than a fishing felon.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
#79526 12/04/06 10:56 AM
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Rad,

Thanks for the numbers. I have a lesser heron on my small pond that we enjoy watching. He's become buddies with the goose and it's fun to see them standing on the dock together!!!

If he's only eating half a dozen or so fish a day,that's fine.

Eddie


Lake Marabou http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=139488&fpart=1

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3/4 and 4 acre ponds.
#79527 12/04/06 04:33 PM
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I guess I have had bad luck with Herons. Nothing is more frustrating than finding an 18" LMB floater with a spear hole in it's side.


20 acres of trees & 3/4 acre pond.

"Home of the future Texas state HSB record for Private ponds"
#79528 12/04/06 07:44 PM
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Illinois Longhorn,
If the ones around here tasted anything but horrible, my neighbors would have eaten them long ago.

BarO,
I hear you, in the beginning when all of the fish were "my babies" I went after them pretty hard. I bought a bb gun,strung up wire along the shore, put heavy bamboo cover near the water line and threw rocks until my arm gave out. If nothing else they are persistent. They found high or low spots in the wire, they came early, they came late, they started at the far end of the pond and finally they used my foliage for cover.
Finally I gave in, they beat me. I decided that in a pond my size the tilapia could serve us both. You, however, have LMB which hunt in the same zone as the heron, while only my small fish venture that close to shore. I wish I had an answer for you.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
#79529 12/04/06 08:19 PM
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My pond is 30-40 yards from my front door. I can see 95% of the pond from that vantage point. I try to persuade them that it is healthier AND the fish taste better elsewhere. I have to agree that they or their relatives are persistent.


20 acres of trees & 3/4 acre pond.

"Home of the future Texas state HSB record for Private ponds"
#79530 12/04/06 08:41 PM
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I'm going to apply for a permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife to legally take out a couple per year. It's an option fish farmers have although I doubt a recreational pond person could get one. The fee has gone up to 100 dollars annually, and I have to document I have done everything else I can, but I'm just tired of hassling with these birds. I have had them drill my large broodstock bass in the head, and with the new VHS virus that could be transmitted by birds, I don't want to take a chance. They are as numerous as flies around here so I don't think taking out a few will hurt their population. I'm all for for nonlethal methods and want to live in unision with wildlife, but there are a couple of birds each year that don't take no for an answer. Some of my fish are worth $100.00 a piece so when they destroy them without even eating them, that burns me up.

Shoot, shovel, and shutup is too risky in my area. I've got a higway in the front and neigbors on both sides and behind me. If some do gooder squealed on me it could be really expensive.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






#79531 12/04/06 10:01 PM
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Not fish related. But here is article about a tree farmer shooting deer in Iowa.
Come and get me


To Dam or not to dam

That isn't even a question
#79532 12/04/06 10:14 PM
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Great feedback. I didn't see one post suggesting a decoy. Do they work?

#79533 12/04/06 11:03 PM
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Kinda off subject but today while driving I noticed a heron standing in the middle of a harvested bean field with 6" of snow cover next to a few tuffs of grass, kinda like he was a hawk or bird of prey watching a mouse area, struck me as really odd.


A little snow, Please!
#79534 12/05/06 02:15 AM
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allenjanan,
Here's some posts reguarding decoys:

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=000308

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=20;t=000399

Here's a keeper post by Andrew Davis:
 Quote:

andrew davis
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posted September 14, 2005 03:42
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ahah, someone mentioned herons in an earlier post, this summons 'the heron file' compiled from various ponders experience, over the years....

Herons have a muddle of habits, some go in for neat extermination jobs, others may be picky, leaving the whole body of a fish and only eating the tail section. Go round a lake after herons have been and you will find a lot of variation in kill habits... Yes, they will fly around and around a location on many days before even landing on a tall tree close, for a more careful look... Very keen eyesight and hearing, indeedy...

After a serious heron attack, its quite normal for fish to go hiding for weeks, so you never quite know what has happened.... on a well planted pond with a lot of cover, most fish survive though you will notice the dramatic difference in their usual behaviour and wonder why.

Here's a few notes collected from observations and other folks experience

1) Predator nets.... cheaper than losing koi, downside, local animals can get trapped in it, snared. Not very pleasant explaining to your neighbor why their pedigree cat or dog lost its life or leg through strangulation. Predator nets are probably the most cost effective barrier method, a large mesh of around 4" should allow most varieties of plants to grow through it without tangling the mesh. Smaller meshes tend to be a mess with plants, strangled pets, and dead frogs by the time Spring arrives...

2) Barrier method.... Suspend strong fish line taut, 12" around the pond, herons hate trip wires. An elegantly simple way to baffle a dim fishbag on stilts, it often works, many folk have reported seeing herons 'baffled' this way.... a near invisible line that they can't see, bump into, cannot step over without tripping, is enough to stop them....

3) Hiding places... Step up cover within the pond... water lilies.... big bits of pipe, float large sheets of black polythene (trash bags will do) trippy stuff for tangling up predators... hiding places for fish. Surprisingly, many black plastic objects, when submersed become virtually invisible, in a natural setting, so the idea of this clutter in pond is not as bad as it sounds. I like this method, it creates a lot of hiding places and is virtually invisible to the usually attractive pond setting, it makes it very difficult for the likes of persistent herons and raccoons when they raid.... useful in winter when foliage is bare and fish want somewhere quiet, to hibernate, bare crystal clear ponds must be an easy target for predators....

4) Pond design... When you make a pond, make 45 sides, herons have gangly legs, they like 'easy walking' conditions, they hate 'trippy' pond surroundings... The one common weakness of predatory birds is the vulnerability of their gangly long legs, they absolutely rely on an easy landing place, and an easy stroll into the pond, handy shallow terraces are a big help....

5) Trapping... I can't be so fiendish, I cant advise you put out snares... a simple loop of fish line can lock onto a predators leg. Nasty way to die, that

6) Shooting... Not everyone in the world live in areas where herons are protected, or rare... I can't recommend a .22 air rifle, a bit politically incorrect, even though a heron is easy to hit at 200' with a decent scope, unfair, too easy I guess. Anyone who has used a rifle properly could hit a quarter at 100 feet so for the squeamish, clipping some tail feathers is quite possible .....or hit a bucket placed beside the pond loud and close enough to frighten the bejasus out of the vile fish bag... that is a quite effective clean way....Alas rifles in most peoples hands are quite counter productive, you can waste a lot of time waiting for the opportunity to use it, to learn how to be competent with a rifle and the consequences of a bad tempered person with a lethal tool is well, unpopular...

7) Sprinklers... For the flash and the opulent, linking a motion detector and a sprinkler might provide some amusement to scare off the dratted bird. Or, a hose with a timer, that briefly blasts water every 15 minutes or so, enough to startle a pest... if the risk of absent mind folk getting a drenching is bothersome, perhaps the motion detector could be linked with an emergency service strobe light, that would be enough to freak most long leggedy villains away

8) Aquatic plants... A heavily planted pond makes life very difficult for predators, even though the big bright dumber fish will always be taken first, shy nervous timid (smart) fish and the little 'uns ought to be able to find good hidey holes easy... the rafts of aquatic iris, water lilies make life very difficult for hunters to find fish, let alone move around or risk stumbling among

9) Fish feeding routine.... Have a special food signal, like tap a stone three times at feed time. You don't want your fish to associate every visitor to your pond, with a free meal.... one day it will be a heron, looking for freebies...

10) Heron statue... what a novel idea, picturesque even. They always seem to be coming on the market, second hand. Never heard anyone had any success with them, other than folk who sell them, I guess.... Now I have heard of someone linking an owl statue to a motion detector and they swore that worked... that would be a hoot if it hooted when motion was detected....

11) Sonic guns.... There is a very promising new device coming onto the market.... sonic 'guns' that fire a narrow band of extreme noise in a confined direction. Link this to a motion detector and it really will do the job... herons are incredibly sensitive and nervous, a violent sound like that pointed at the pond area will really blow them away when they trigger the sonic gun. Because of the controlled direction of the sonics, its not likely to bother neighbours, much.... Very promising, that method..... Another device that can be activated by a motion detector is a strobe light, the sort that emergency vehicles use, that can drive off predatory birds which are unable to hunt with such a dramatic distraction... that has been reported to keep fish ponds free of attacks recently, not a big deal to find and install.

12) Baseball bats. Herons by nature are incredibly careful hunters, you won't get within 50 feet with a bat. Anyone thinking of trying such a method will quickly learn the bird is a lot smarter than them, and that will be just sooooo embarrassing....

13) Crocodile heads... that might well work in Southern areas where crocodiles are well known predators, however, many herons are not familiar with crocodiles at a young stage, or have never seen them before so in many cases it just won't be noticed, except, in areas where crocodiles are well known...

14) Tin traps.... Another 'scarer' for discouraging prowlers could be a tin trap, a big can with some large round stones to rattle loud within, this can be precariously perched and attached to a fishing line trip wire along likely approaches. Very effective after dark and around morning and dusk...

15) Shishi odoshi.... Another critter scaring method, which may or may not work against predatory birds but is supposedly effective against deer is the Japanese 'shishi odoshi'....If it is a little out of the way without too many neighbours close, this old japanese design for scaring deer might be effective, made out of a few large pieces of bamboo and relying on a trickle of water to keep it going, it's supposed to work on deer, though, moose might be a different matter... It could drive you nuts if you made it a little loud...

Checkout:
http://www.canadianhomeworkshop.com/weekend/shishi_odoshi.shtml

16) Koi 'decoys'.... Believe it or not, folk are reporting they work. Someone somewhere makes rubber? koi which you can moor in the pond in an open area... looking like a dozey sitting 'duck' the heron sneaks up, batters at it a few times, tries to yank the koi plus anchor out of the water, only to discover it can't.... by which time all the real koi are well alerted and in hiding, having a good snicker, I hope

17) This is a hunch, however it could work, I have yet to hear of anyone trying it. Realistic life size statues of natural predators such as cats or foxes might well discourage flying fishbags. Move them about now and then and it might impress herons when they are doing their fly by reconnaissance missions, they are very picky about landing in places where predators are about

The time when predatory birds go pond hopping is often determined by local factors, drought, floods or freezes have made difficult or clouded their usual hunting places, early morning and fog is often a factor to make them bold enough to go close to places where ponds are, compact sushi bars are preferred....

Herons are creatures of habit, they will 'tour' their favourite water holes quite religiously. When they spot a new pond with fish they will add that pond to their schedule and turn up like clockwork with the same routine...

Their eyesight is extremely good, it is something of a big advantage if the fish turn out to be garishly bright koi or goldfish... Not unlike a neon sign shouting 'sushi bar' loud and clear...

The loathsome fishbag on stilts might circle a promising pond a couple of times about 400 yards away, checking the whole area then appear to disappear over the horizon... They will disappear if they have spotted anything lurking, perhaps a cat, or fox is about...

Several minutes later, they will overfly it once or twice, gliding quite slow, to bank and turn and seem to go away. Five minutes or so they then come very slow, steady and at a low height from a completely different angle as if to take by surprise any skulking entity... hedgehopping, literally...

Should they spot one little thing that frets them, they will abort landing...

They want the pond all to themselves, with no complications like dogs, or people about...

Only then, when they are absolutely sure it's safe to plunder, will they come in and land in a high place overlooking the pond. Perhaps a chimney, or a small tree close to the pond.

Herons quite often explore ponds in gardens during times of poor visibility, fog, at first light when their usual haunts have become difficult, for example when floods have clouded waters, or when ice has formed, the conditions for likely heron attacks can be predicted if you keep an eye on the weather forecast...

When they have landed at a high vantage point overlooking the pond area, they really take their time and look with those beady little dark eyes, to make absolutely sure nothing is lurking before flapping to the best landing spot close to the pond...

I say they, because it is not unusual for them to go about in pairs...

Should your pond be netted they will go to some lengths to try and get within, finding or forcing any gap that they can... When they are safely well within the net, that is quite a good time to, errr....

...surprise them

regards, andy
http://www.members.aol.com/abdavisnc/swglist.html

[ September 14, 2005, 03:49 AM: Message edited by: andrew davis ]
And the thread: http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=14;t=000194;p=0


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Ric
#79535 12/05/06 01:37 PM
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I swear by non-lethal high speed projectiles. One shot close over their heads with my 17HMR and they don't come back for a long time. This is easy effective if you can shoot over your pond.


Gotta get back to fishin!
#79536 12/05/06 03:58 PM
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Hey bz, that is exactly what I have been doing! Dang gun has been shooting low lately tho.....


20 acres of trees & 3/4 acre pond.

"Home of the future Texas state HSB record for Private ponds"
#79537 12/05/06 07:03 PM
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Thanks Rick for posting it and thanks Andrew for writing it. It is a keeper for sure.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
#79538 12/06/06 09:22 AM
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Wonderful reading! We do have a shallow end, but it drops abruptly and the rest of the pond is 9 feet deep with 45 degree edges. So maybe there's hope that most of the fish have time to escape to the deep end before the bird has had time to gobble up too many. ???

#79539 12/06/06 09:46 AM
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 Quote:
So maybe there's hope that most of the fish have time to escape to the deep end before the bird has had time to gobble up too many. ???
I doubt it. The great blue waits for them to come to it. Haven't you ever watched a great blue heron in action? Its fun to watch.


To Dam or not to dam

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#79540 12/06/06 11:10 AM
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I have always been amazed by the bird, it is so large and yet such a survivor. I can see them almost everywhere I go. Lance you are right, a real piece of work. They are however, a lot more fun to watch at work in waters other than your own. They don't frequent my neighborhood, the large herons that do are migratory and only stop for a couple of days each way. I am too cheap to buy the Southeast Asia bird book so I haven't identified them yet. My terrors are small brown and white guys, there are close to 50 that I see daily, but they might be teritoral because I only am plagued by one.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam

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