Herons are big, spectacular-looking birds that are interesting to watch. However, being fish-eaters, they can also wreak havoc on a fish pond. Herons tend to view fish ponds as handy pools full of easily caught treats. Unlike other water birds, herons usually walk up to a pond from nearby rather than alight on the water. They also prefer a pond where they can see both the fish and the surrounding area easily. Make use of these characteristics to keep them out of your pond.
Create hiding places for fish with rocks or short lengths of PVC pipe.
Measure the circumference of your pond and buy the same length of wire mesh (hardware cloth) plus a few centimetres. Form the wire mesh into the shape of your pond, allowing a little extra. Secure the ends together with wire and place over your pond. This forms a simple fence that prevents herons from alighting near your pond and wading in. Tent pegs are a fast way to secure the fence in place, if your pond is surrounded by soil.
Surround your pond with shrubs or small trees. Herons prefer water bodies where they can spot predators from a distance. A pond enclosed by vegetation makes them feel insecure, and they are less likely to pay regular visits.
Install a small pond fountain. This disturbs the surface of the water, making it difficult for a heron to see or catch the fish.
The long-term solution to heron problems is a pond with steeply sloping sides. Heron floats are widely available to deter the birds from a pond.
Things you need
- Rocks or PVC pipe
- Tape measure
- Wire mesh
- Tent pegs
- Pond fountain