The most shocking sight to see for a new and seasoned pond hobbyist in New Jersey is to see a Blue Heron standing on the edge of their pond with one of their prized fish hanging from it’s bill. This scene is frustrating and probably won’t be the last time you are confronted by the infamous Blue Heron.
There are many thoughts and opinions as to the most effective way to deter the Blue Heron, the pond fish eating nemesis. Some may work well for you and others may prove to be just a waste of time,
Using a full pond net to cover your pond is a sure fire way to deter and keep a Blue Heron from feasting on your pond fish friends. Netting the pond will cut off all access to the fish allowing you to protect your fish from being eaten or wounded by a Blue Heron. The drawback to netting your pond is the look of the unsightly netting (it will block the views of your fish and sometimes your waterfall.) The upside is, it works and can be put into place very quickly.
A Scarecrow is a motion activated sprinkler that shoots a stream of water to deter Blue Heron. The Scarecrow is connected to a water source and when motion is detected in a contained area, it will shoot a stream of water in that area, thus scaring off the Blue Heron.
This is a very effective way to deter a Blue Heron as well as other predators. When installed it can blend into it’s surroundings and not interfere with the beauty of your pond and pond fish. We have seen great results with the Scarecrow (and they provide some humor. Humor? How? The Scarecrow doesn’t distinguish between predator or human, so you can watch your friends, family, and even us if we are maintaining your pond get shot by a stream of water! Funny!)
The scarecrow is definitely worth trying and when installed correctly functions as a great Blue Heron deterrent.
Fishing Line Method
We have also been successful using fishing line to deter a Blue Heron from approaching a pond. Place stakes around the perimeter of the pond (we use bamboo stakes) approximately every 5-6 feet. String fishing line 6-8” above the ground around the perimeter. After completing the perimeter, criss-cross the pond with the fishing line multiple times to create somewhat of a spider web 6-8” above the pond surface.
The theory behind this method is the heron won’t step over the fishing line or try to stick it’s beak between the “mess” you have just created. The fishing line is translucent so it doesn’t distract from the beauty of your pond as much as pond netting might. It’s a sight preference to some, but not all.
PRO TIP: We recommend using a 15-20 lb fishing line test to accomplish this. Also, be sure the fishing line doesn’t get in the water as your fish could become entangled in it.
Decoys (Blue Heron)
Last, but not least are the numerous decoys that can be purchased to deter Blue Heron. Alligators, owls, and the famous Heron decoys are the most popular. Using these decoys to deter Blue Heron are hit or miss. Decoys are effective for some and not others. It’s worth a try, but in our opinion the least effective.
TIP: The more you move your decoy the better your chance a decoy will deter Blue Heron from your pond.
These ways to deter Blue Heron are what we have found to be the most effective. These creatures are very smart and one or more of these deterrents may need to be put in place before you find the one that works against your Blue Heron.
If you have any other questions on how to deter a blue heron or any other water feature questions please contact us here.
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5/14/2019 08:37:47 pm
I have a net dome I purchased online years back. Think it was the one from Atlantic. I replaced the net using the same frame this year and it works great and does not distract from the pond. I also have metal herons in 3 different areas--have rusted over the year so have a nice patina. A heron by nature will not fish in the same area as another. You can see this along the shores when fishing.. I removed by netting once when I hired someone to clean my pond and she insisted because it was deep the animals wouldn't bother it. She never looked to see the hawks they fly overhead. The next morning my prize red/black/white koi that I raised for 18 years was gone--no struggle, just swept him up & I never saw hi again. His name was Jaws. So I'm sorry for your loss. Its truly more important to protect your pond with a dome net then to let critters make a feast out of your babies.
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Over the last 18 years, Clay has been involved in landscaping and aquascaping, which led him to his passion, POND BUILDING and opening A Frog’s Dream in 2006. His true passion is to create works of art for others to enjoy and marvel at in the privacy of their own backyards.