Nature Perfect

Crafting Beautiful Landscapes Throughout
The South Puget Sound Since 2000.

2905 Black Lake Blvd SW, Tumwater WA 98512

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Pond Predator Control- Part 1 of 3

Pond Predator Control- Part 1 of 3

Pond Fish Care , Pond Maintenance & Care 🕔November 16, 2019 0 comments
Great Blue Heron hunting for fish. They can visit your pond day or night!

Unfortunately, most ponds need some sort of predator control or deterrent methods in order to keep fish safe. If you are wondering why you are losing fish, it may be due to predators, rather than other reasons such as diseases or bad water quality issues. Depending upon where you live, your landscape nuances and time of the year there may be many types of predators tempted to feast on your precious pond dwellers.

The first step in predator control is to try to determine which predator(s) are visiting your pond, after that is established, then take the appropriate precautions and employ specific prevention & deterrent techniques. Follow the guidelines below to help you determine which methods will best help you given your situation.

Monitor Your Pond & Landscape- Keep on alert for hungry critters.

  1. Monitor your fish numbers in the am-morning & afternoon-pm. This will help determine if you have a diurnal (daytime) or nocturnal (night) predator. How fast are you losing fish? Add a Camera to record your predator- day & night.
  2. Examine Your Pond- look for damage. Around the perimeter, check for clues like knocked over plants, rocks or disturbed liner. Some predators make a mess (raccoons), others left little or no trace (herons).
  3. What size are your fish? Small (less than 6”) Medium (over 6” to a foot) or Large – Huge (over a foot to 3’+) This also helps determine the predator- for example: Heron like medium sized fish (too large they can’t lift, too small not worth it); while snakes & raccoons usually like smaller fish.
  4. Look for areas in your landscape that could be potential habitats or predatory niches. These can be addressed later. Do you live near a natural waterway, creek or river?
There are many types of predators that may want to eat your precious fish.

After the above is determined, let’s examine the most popular as well as the least likely predators to visit your neighborhood pond.   

There are two basic types of predators– those that are aerial and fly into your landscape, or those that are terrestrial or aquatic coming from the landscape (raccoons, cats, etc.) or actually living in your pond (frogs & snakes). Heron and raccoon are the most popular and likely culprits.   

Flying Predators- Herons; Eagles, Hawks (N. Harrier) & Osprey; King Fishers; Ducks & Geese  

Terrestrial & Aquatic Predators- Raccoons, Opossums, Otter, Mink/muskrat, Snails, Frogs (Bull & Snapping), Turtles & other Reptiles, Cats & Dogs.

Pond Predators- Which Predators Do You Have? Click on Link here for Part 2

 Before you purchase gadgets that may or may not be effective, try to figure out which predator you are dealing with so you can make an effective plan.

Research what is native to your local area- do a Google search or click here 

 I will say that the most popular predators are usually the Great Blue Heron (hunts during the day or night) and Raccoons (preys at mostly at night) -then Birds of Prey, Aquatic Mammals, Frogs & Turtles, Cats & Opossums. That is why it is important to know what is native to your local area and if possible have a camera pointed at your pond day and night. Once you have determined which predator(s) you have or made a good guess, then choose your control methods.  Refer to Pond Predators-Parts 2 and  Predator Control Methods- Part 3

Questions? Stop into our store- Nature Perfect Pond Supply- located in Tumwater, WA or email us at or ask Kerri at

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