Long Island Pond Predators

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Long Island Pond Predators

Ecosystem ponds are undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous additions you can create for your property. They become the focal point of your landscape, they will draw you outside of your home and give you somewhere to relax by. You will find yourself spending countless hours relaxing, enjoying, and creating memories with loved ones by your ecosystem pond. A properly built pond by a professional, is incredibly low maintenance and you are recreating nature in your own backyard. If you live on Long Island, you will be surprised how much wildlife your ecosystem pond will attract to your backyard, somedays you will feel like you are in upstate New York! These ecosystems ponds will attract local birds, frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, moths. Unfortunately, these ecosystems ponds can possibly attract other wildlife, which aren’t so nice as the ones we named. This other group of wildlife can be possible predators that can potentially eat your fish! Long island has a few fish predators’ people should be aware of. The most notorious one that koi enthusiasts dread, the heron. Whether you are new to ecosystem ponds or have had one for many years, this article is for you. We will be discussing the various fish predators that live on Long Island and a few ways to keep your fish as safe as they can be! After all, we are recreating nature on a small scale with these ecosystem ponds, so well that nature takes its course with predators and prey (our poor fish).

You may be wondering what some of those potential predators are that live on our beautiful Island. Here’s a quick list. So, lets dive right in!

Heron, Osprey, Hawk, Fox, Raccoon, Cats, Bull Frog

Now that you are aware of the potential predators living on Long Island that your fish friends may be a snack for, we will share some ways how you can help protect your fish!

Proper construction of a pond is the number one step in protecting your fish. An improperly built pond can make it easy for predators to be able to prey on your fish, making your pond their personal buffet. When constructing a pond make sure it is at least 2 feet deep, not only is it important for your fish to be able to survive winters on Long Island, but it also provides enough depth to be able to swim away from potential predators, shallow ponds make it easy for predators to catch your fish.  Make sure the pond has some steep ledges/shelves, beach entries or cobble wash edging for a pond can welcome predators such as racoons, foxes, or cats to walk into your pond and try to catch your fish. Make sure your pond has at least one fish cave, a fish cave will give your fish a safe place to hide from predators if they need to. Add aquatic plants to your pond! Not only are they great for the ecosystem, but plants like lilies, parrots feather, water hyacinths, water lettuce provide great cover for your fish, making it harder for predators to spot them while they swim. Adding aerators to your pond not only supplies your pond with additional oxygen which aids in creating a healthier ecosystem environment, but it the bubbles on the surface help distort the water making it harder for bird predators to spot your fish! Granted a properly built pond that give your fish friends better chances of survival will sometimes not be enough to keep a potential predator from eating your fish, that’s a fact most pond owners must face, it’s a part of life. We will discuss further other methods that can help you defend your pond from specific predators once you’ve identified the culprit.

Public enemy #1, the notorious Heron. Undoubtedly pond owners most hated and feared predator. If you live on Long Island, we got plenty of them. These birds are fish serial killers, they can wipe out your pond fast! However, there are a few ways to deal with them.

        -Fishing line- Running fishing line  from different angles across your pond can prevent a heron from walking around or in your pond to hunt fish as they will run into the line causing them to get annoyed or startled and discourage them from hunting.

        -Heron Decoy- This trick is not fully reliable however can work; the theory is buying a heron decoy that looks realistic will deter a real heron from coming to your pond to hunt as they are territorial animals. Once they see another heron hunting a certain location, they are more than likely to fly to a different spot. The only thing you need to do is place the decoy at the edges of your pond and make sure you move the decoy to another spot of your pond every couple of days or at least once a week. Herons are very smart birds and will realize your decoy is a not a real heron if they see it stay in one place.


        -Netting- Placing a net over  your pond will keep your fish safe from any predators, especially heron. It may not look pleasing to the eye, but its straightforward and gets the job done.


       -Place a canopy or build a pavilion over your pond, if a heron flies over your pond, they won’t even realize it’s there! Therefore, your fish are safe.


       -Scarecrow sprinkler- A scarecrow sprinkler is a motion activated sprinkler, when it senses anything near by it will activate and spray the area. When a heron approaches the pond, it will be sprayed, causing it to be scared and make it fly away keeping your pond safe. However, this sprinkler does not discriminate against anything, it will spray anything that is nearby your pets, friends, family and even you! Make sure you deactivate every time you want to go by your pond.


            –Dog- If you have a dog that loves spending its days outside in the yard, put it to work! Having a dog in the backyard is a great   way to deter a heron from hunting your pond. Just make sure to reward your dog with treats and belly rubs!


Osprey– Recommend strategies are like the heron ones. Anchoring fishing lines in different angles across the pond, netting the pond, building a canopy/pavilion, or a installing a scarecrow sprinkler will help protect your pond.


Hawk– It is rare for hawks to prey on your pond; however, it can happen. The way to deter a hawk from your pond would be just like any other predatory bird like a Heron or Osprey. Fishing line, netting, screening, or scarecrow sprinkler will help keep them away.

 Fox– Foxes are another rare predator on long island that have the potential to eat your fish. However, if you build a pond 2ft deep and areas where you fish can hide, such as a fish cave. Your fish will be safe. Having a fence, net over your pond, or scarecrow sprinkler are also additional measures you can take.

 Racoons– Racoons are very lazy hunters, they will only go after your fish if they think it will be an easy meal. If you have swallow pond or a pond with a beach entry which makes it easy for the racoons to walk into your pond and go after your fish, you are inviting racoons for a fish buffet. If you build a pond properly this will deter racoons from being able to get your fish. If you have steep ledges, it makes it hard for a raccoon to come and swipe your fish out. 2 Feet of depth also discourages any raccoon to come in and try to catch your fish, if a raccoon is swimming it cannot hunt a fish at the same time. Incorporating a fish cave also gives your fish a place to hide from any predators once they spot the threat. If your pond is already built and it is too shallow and raccoons are an issue, the only solution is to net your pond to keep your fish safe.

 Cats– Cats sometimes will try to hunt your pond fish, but luckily, they do not like getting wet to do so! Just like raccoons, if your pond is built properly with steep ledges and a 2 ft deep section along with a fish cave, this will keep your fish safe. Cats will try to swipe any fish out of the pond that swims close enough to it, having a steep ledge will prevent this from happening.

 Bull Frog– Your natural ecosystem will attract a lot of wildlife, including frogs. One frog type that can eat fish is the bull frog. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to protect your fish from a bull frog, unless you physically catch the bull frog and relocate it to another area in your neighborhood, but chances it will find its way back or another one will eventually find your pond. Luckily, not every pond will get a bull frog to find it. Also bull frogs only can eat fish smaller than them, so it will eat small goldfish or small koi. Once your fish are big enough, they won’t be bothered by the bull frog.

  We hope this article helps any new, current, or potential pond owners out there! Ecosystems pond are seriously one of the best investments you can make for your property and lifestyle. Unfortunately, some pond owners must deal with potential predators from time to time and it can be sad when you lose a fish, but that should not deter you from owning one. We hope you were able to take away valuable information on how to deal with these predators and keep your fish safe!

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