Last Updated on February 12, 2021 by Cooper Fulton

9 Ways To Keep Your Pond Predator Free

It is almost a given that you will attract predators to your pond. So, how do you keep your pond predator free?How To Keep Your Pond Predator Free

A pond is certainly a tempting target–it’s full of fish and other vegetation that is very attractive to hungry predators who are looking for an easy meal.

It can be even worse for you to put all of the time, money, and energy into a pond that will only get its fish stolen by predators. 

Unless you have an enclosed pond that is already in a well-protected area, then you will have to take extra precautionary measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your fish.

The best methods to keep your pond predator free is to: make sure your pond is deep enough, add hiding spots for fish, add a net, place decoys, water spray repelent, and fencing to name a few.

Pond Depth

How To Keep Your Pond Predator Free

Your pond should be deep–particularly if you have koi fish.

The general rule of thumb for fish in a pond is that it should be at least three to four feet deep, if not deeper. 

This is to give your fish some room to swim away and hide if they are alerted to the presence of a nearby predator. 

It would also be extremely helpful if you also added underwater shelves that were 12 inches to 16 inches deeper than the recommended pond depth.

This will allow your fish the ability to swim away and hide from determined predators, as well as giving them a physical barrier that isn’t just water.

 The shelves also encourage the growth of vegetation, which is another line of defense for the fish against predators, as they can hide in it, if need be.

 

Hiding Places For Fish

Hiding Places For Fish

 

Beyond having depth, and having shelves within your pond, you should also have sections of PVC piping or corrugated tubing as another layer of protection for your fish. 

This would enable them to hide, as well as be a physical barrier against predators. 

There is also a material called fish refuge, which is made from a mesh material that allows fish and other prey through but keeps predators out.

 

Netting

Netting

It may not be pretty, but netting also works as a great way to deter predators from eating your fish. 

It is a great option because anyone can afford to buy netting to cover their pond, it is very easy to install and you can do it yourself, and it can also help keep leaves and other debris out of the pond. 

Above all, it covers up your pond to the point where predators cannot access your fish and are thus, cut off from their food supply. 

When they realize that there are no fish available, some of your predators should move on. Unfortunately more can come at any time.

 

Decoys

Decoys

Decoys, generally statues of other predators are used to keep the actual predators away.

Most predators, including the snapping turtle and the blue heron, are actually very territorial over their food sources. In fact, I’ve written an entire article covering, how to keep herons away from a pond.

This, meaning that if they see another “snapping turtle” or another “blue heron”, then they will find another place to eat and find food. 

If you are trying to scare off smaller predators (like raccoons), then decoys that are made to look like alligators, snakes, and owls are your best bet, because they do scare certain predators away. 

You could also place some fake koi fish in your pond, as a distraction and red herring. 

The predator will be instantly drawn to an easy meal (the fake koi fish) and then after they discover it is not real, they will go somewhere else for food.

 

Spray Repellents

If all else fails, you can always try buying a spray repellent to spray around your pond. 

These types of sprays are inexpensive and very easy to find in stores, so you should give it a try if your other attempts are not working as well as you would hope. 

You can spray this anywhere in your yard, and it should be resprayed after heavy rains and/or semi-regularly.

Predators do not enjoy foul scents, so using the spray should discount your pond as a food source.

 

Motion Sensor Alarms

There are several different brands of motion sensors that you can buy and set alarms on for any type of movement within a certain parameter e.g. next to your pond.

You can buy different alarms to do different things when they are triggered. 

Some of these motion sensor alarms only emit sounds that animals/your predator can hear, and this noise will usually cause them to run off. 

Other motion sensor alarms turn on lights when triggered, which can and will scare off the predator. 

Lastly, some motion sensor alarms spray water or enable a sprinkler system, which will also scare off the predator, due to how sudden it will turn on. I like to use the Orbit 62120 Garden Enforcer.

 

Fencing

Fencing

Another option is to create actual, physical barriers between your pond and the predators (and where the predators come from). 

If you build and implement an electric fence, then that will be most of the discouragement needed to keep smaller, non-bird predators away from your pond. 

You could also set up fishing wire close to each other, to keep birds from coming as they cannot stand together.

 

Pets

A loud, noisy, and nosy pet can be a godsend when it comes to maintaining your pond. 

Sudden noises generally frighten most predators, so having a dog to keep an eye out on the pond, if possible, is not a bad idea. 

You just have to train or get your dog trained to keep an eye near the pond and be able to bark and not get overly aggressive automatically.

 

Placement of Feeders

The placement of the feeders also matters. 

If you put a feeder in the easiest place to reach the pond, then you have already lost the battle, because that is exactly what predators want e.g. an easy target to eat. 

Move your feeders to a different spot, something that is farther and more remote than its original place.

If you don’t already have an automatic feeder, I recommend the P7000 Pond Fish Feeder.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, installing any of these measure will ensure the safety of your pond and reduce the amount of predators that show up. All of theses methods are useful in their own ways and by adding a few together you may end up seeing better results.