"Great " Blue heron

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by manfred, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. manfred

    manfred Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Location:
    E. Oklahoma
    Hi folks,
    I'm looking for ideas here. I have these birds eating my fish. I've heard they can eat over 2 lbs of fish per day out of a pond. It kind of adds up!
    I've heard of them eating people's expensive coi fish too out of their little ponds.
    There is a huge fine ,I'm sure for killing them and I believe it is against the law to harrass them also. Don't know for sure. Any ideas about to discourage them without breaking any laws?
    I have 2 ponds that I have stocked and there is one of these birds at one of them every day!
     
  2. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    762
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    They taste kinda like chicken but the druimsticks are a lot longer.. Just kidding,
     

  3. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,939
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    I am not sure that "a heron" in a whole pond is going to make a great lot of difference, but I hear the catfish industry has nets with floats on them to keep the fish out.
     
  4. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    You can get netting or something called a Scarecrow to keep them out. It's a rotating sprinkler on a motion sensor and worked pretty well for me on them, though it doesn't work on everything. Too late now for you most likely, but for the future, when putting in a pond, don't make steps! I know they make nice planting areas, but herons and coons just walk right down them and scoop up your fish. Make the sides steep and straight down just about and they can't do that. You can put the plants up on cinder blocks that need shallow water.
     
  5. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,274
    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Commercial fish ponds using "lines" to prevent fish-eating birds from getting to their fish. There are other ideas

    The Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage Handbook has an entire section devoted to Bird Damage at Aquaculture facilities (even if you have a smaller pond, you can use some of the ideas).

    http://icwdm.org/handbook/index.asp#bird

    Good luck
     
  6. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,395
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    How small is your pond that you are worried about two birds?
     
  7. manfred

    manfred Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Location:
    E. Oklahoma
    It is only 2 ponds of 1/2 acre each. Well stocked. If a Heron eats 2 pounds of fish per day, that is 6o pounds a month! 120 pounds for both ponds. That is lots more than I eat per month.
     
  8. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,373
    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Herons hate to have people around. Do a google search for pop-up scarecrows. A friend of mine used those with some success when they were eating all of his fingerlings.
     
  9. tweety

    tweety Tweety

    Messages:
    164
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    I have heard (from a fellow who installs garden ponds) that Great blue herons don't like the color yellow. He advises people with heron problems to make a little scarecrow out of a child's yellow slicker and put it by the pond.
     
  10. manfred

    manfred Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Location:
    E. Oklahoma
    Thanks tweety, I will try a small yellow scarecrow. I guess I can get a yellow slicker at Walmart.
     
  11. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    a small one ate all 9 of my koi when I had them... took about 3 days before i figured out what was eating them.

    oddly before that I never had bullfrogs, but now I do, so maybe it burped up a frog while it was eating my fish.
     
  12. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Location:
    georgia
    They can clean out a small pond if it is shallow enough.Two birds cleaned out our 1/2 acre pond in a summer..We got a hole in the dam so the water was down and they moved in and were there every day.Then they moved to the Koi pond with netting found a hole and waited for the fish to swim out.
     
  13. danb98577

    danb98577 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    169
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    If you are not near to other homes, try the ever popular bottle rocket. It will scare the birds off and not harm them. You can get pretty proficient with these things. The sticks will eventually float to the edge. Harrassing the birds? Oh please...what about the fish? The rockets work on cormorants too!!
     
  14. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,327
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Carthage, Texas
    I don't mind em in my ponds... the shoreline drops off quickly, so they can only access a few feet... and any fish stupid enough to get eaten by a heron, deserves it...

    Now I get plumb medieval when it comes to anhingas, cormorants, aka 'water turkeys'... cause they can take any fish anywhere as long as it's small enough to swallow...
     
  15. Gideon's War

    Gideon's War Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Location:
    In a state of Grace by the Lord Jesus
    I find a small rifle shots placed around them tend to scare them away as well. They get the idea pretty quickly when the water splashs all around them I lost a bunch of Koi until I saw them. We had a few always hanging around but they moved on once I kept at them. No need to drop them, just abit of fear is a good thing. You could accomplish the same with a dog but what fun is that? :)
     
  16. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

    Messages:
    4,568
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Location:
    Maine
    My pond is 85' x 100' and 15' deep on the shallow end. The sides drop steeply to discourage cattail growth. You'd think that drop would discourage the herons but it doesn't. We had a problem with blue and green herons picking off our rainbow trout fry until I turned the dogs loose on the birds. It took most of last summer but the birds finally figured out that the dogs weren't going to leave them alone. They haven't been back this summer.
     
  17. poppy

    poppy Guest

    Get rid of them whatever it takes. They are destructive to your pond as they, along with other waterfowl, carry aggressive water plants to your pond. I have a 10 year old 3/4 acre pond that is 9 feet deep at the deep end. I stocked it and about 4 years ago the herons came. I thought they were neat to look at and wasn't worried about losing a few fish. Then I noticed a strange weed growing that I didn't recognize in this area. I had to look it up on the puter. It is water primrose. Dastardly stuff. It completely covered the pond in about 3 months. I had to order a herbicide called Rodeo for 60.00 because it is approved for water usage. It is a close cousin to roundup. It kills the plants, but not the roots, so I now have to spray the pond 3 times a year to keep the stuff down. I will no longer eat the fish because of the herbicide. I am on my 5th gallon of rodeo. Result: pond ruined.
     
  18. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,327
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Carthage, Texas
    Poppy
    Hope you aren't planning, (or planned :) ) on eating any fish out of your pond after poisoning it!

    ................................

    You build an outdoor pond or lake, wildlife will use it. Unless you build a hermetically sealed shell around it, above, below, and around it... or guard it 24/7/365.

    I got moss in my lake, started choking the shallow areas... no poison for me, cause I get my drinking water out of it.... instead, I put grass carp in it... they don't keep it clean, but they do keep it managed to tolerable levels...
     
  19. poppy

    poppy Guest

    I didn't mind a little moss, but the primrose is indestructable best I can tell. The state fish biologist told me the herons carried it in on their feet. He said the only options were to spray, cover the pond with black plastic until the stuff died, or run a motor boat through it to keep it chopped up. No solution was permanent. It grows like a vine from shore or in shallow water, but it gets so long and matted that it conpletely covers a small pond.
     
  20. backwoods

    backwoods Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,591
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    Middle TN, Where the Hilltops Kiss the Sky
    The great blue Herron,is likened unto the preying mantis in that they never get enough to eat.Once they find a food source they will return until it is gone.They got 75 bass from me in one summer.Bass float near the surface and are easy prey.They don't like dogs,or 30-30 rifle slugs.