Deterring the elusive pond wolf, or the mink, is a topic we typically speak about in the spring with our customers here in Morris County, NJ. After this first sentence I am sure you're asking why? Let me give you the "skinny" on how this works!
"The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and it's time to get that pond open and running! (Typically Mid March to the beginning of April) We arrive at your home to perform the annual pond cleaning and Esteban and Gabriel begin pumping the water out while preparing the holding tank to house your fish during our cleaning process. At first there are no signs of any fish, but hey we see this many times, they are hiding and will soon come out of their hiding spot so we can safely transfer them to their temporary holding tank. The water level in the pond is quickly dropping, we are looking for fish to net and transfer, nothing! The pond water is now down to about 8" of water and by now we would certainly see fish! Still NOTHING! We look around check all the crevices we are accustomed to fish hiding in and still NOTHING! There is not a sign of any fish and there are no carcass's , NOTHING!"
Many years ago this happened to us and we had no idea what had happened. We were stumped! We reached out to many in the industry and finally figured out what had happened, The Pond Wolf attacked the pond! At first we thought, this is crazy we don't have mink here! Surprise to us, WE DO!
Years after this, we saw this occur once or twice every two to three years, until the winter of of 2015-2016. This year alone we had 8 customers lose every fish in their ponds. Yes, all of them, not one left. By now you're probably think, what in the world am I going to do to keep this predator called a mink away from my fish.
How can a Mink do this?
Mink and Muskrats (they do this to) are extremely good hunters, swimmers, and very agile. Nothing will keep a mink out of your pond, nothing. We are just telling you this from experience. They will slide under a net, over or under an electric fence, and right into the hole in your ice you are keeping in it to keep your fish healthy for the winter. Once they find a food source, they don't stop taking from that food source until it's dried up. That means every single fish, and the mink doesn't care how big or small those fish happen to be. They come for one, drag it out of the hole in the ice, and bring it back to their den. They are food hoarders and will store their food for later use. Many times, a mink will ravage a pond within 24 hours, there will be nothing left.
We have also seen this only happen during the early winter to very early spring months. That's not to say it can't happen any other time of the year, we just haven't seen it.
What can you do to prevent the Mink attack?
Dye the pond! This is the only thing in past years we have found that has worked. Get yourself some black pond dye and dye the pond once a month. How is this going to help? I know it sounds ridiculous, right?
It helps by making the pond dark, which inhibits the mink or muskrat from seeing the fish. It must be done once a month during the winter as the dye does dissipate over time. Doing this does not guarantee a mink won't get your fish, but we have had amazing success deterring the mink just by adding dye to the pond.
How can A Frog's Dream Help?
Traditionally, we only recommended this to customers who have had the problem in the past. Due to the massive increase in mink invasions last year we are HIGHLY recommending everyone do it, just as a precaution. In an effort to make it easy for everyone we are offering two different services to help you keep the mink away this winter.
The first service is hands off for you and great for those who leave the state for the winter months. We call it our Winter Pond Care and MINK Prevention Package. We will visit your pond once a month from December through March. At each visit we will check the hole in the ice (shovel snow off to keep hole if necessary), check aeration function and deicer function, check fish if possible, and add a dose of dye for the Mink Prevention. Included in this is emergency aeration/pond deicer replacement. If at any time your aerator or deicer stops functioning we will come out and either fix or replace with no service call fees. (product replacement fees may apply)
The second service we are offering is for those who are more hands on. We will provide you with dye for your pond for the winter season, provide you with dosing instructions, and (this one is extremely important) you will be put into an email list and sent a reminder email every month to remind you to apply the dose of dye.
A Frog’s Dream Aquatic Services is offering this pond blog as a personal information source to our website visitors. Pond services are performed in Morris County New Jersey (NJ) Hunterdon County New Jersey (NJ) Somerset County (NJ) and Warren County (NJ).Waterfall ponds, Streams, and Fountains are all in our wheelhouse of talent. Explore our website for more ideas. Like our Facebook page for daily inspiration. Receive our newsletter for weekly pond tips.
Over the last 16 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.