Keep Your Fish Safe From Herons

For the record, we hate doom and gloom, and we especially hate fear-based sales tactics. Just yuck. We're writing this article just for your info -- a little background into what we've tried and tested.

We've gotten lots of calls this mild winter from people whose fish have suddenly disappeared, so it seems appropriate we talk about this now...

Great Blue Herons.

great blue heron

For the record, as an avid birder, I am so infatuated with these beauties. They're huge, and they're so stinkin' smart. Seriously-- watch them hunt in a natural body of water sometime! They're incredible! And I'm honored that they would consider our ponds their natural feeding grounds, but I'd rather not spend money to feed the herons!

Great Blue Herons perch high (like the top of your garage or house), scope out the area for predators (like your dog!), and then when they've got the all-clear, they'll walk into your pond and gobble up your friendly fish. If a fish is too big to swallow, they will spear it and eat it in pieces.

The first thing you can do for your fish is to build your pond correctly. Your pond should have steep sides, and if you do have shelves, they should be FULL of aquatic plants. Give the herons no chance of walking into and standing in your pond. They don't like to get their bellies wet, so if your pond is deeper than 18", you're in the clear.

floating alligator decoy

The second bit of insurance is to float an alligator decoy in the pond. I can hear you saying, "Alligators don't live in Indiana." No, they don't! But herons and alligators are natural enemies in the south, so the birds carry an innate fear of them. While they're scoping out your pond, even from hundreds of feet in the air as they fly, they'll see the alligator and just keep on cruising.

These birds are smart! Do not put your alligator somewhere where it cannot move. If it's on the shore or stuck on the sides of the pond and immobile, your friendly neighborhood heron will figure it out!

We've used floating alligators for years at our shop and out our own houses. They've worked for us. They're almost like having a little floating insurance -- just in case a heron shows up!

One more thing before I cease the doom and gloom-- heron decoys do not work. They will only work if you're dedicated enough to move the bird decoy several times a day and remove it during breeding season. Personally, that sounds like a ton of work. I'd rather plop my alligator in the water and let it do the moving for me! Buy yours from our online store or our shop.

floating alligator decoy


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