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Thread: mysterious predator

  1. #1
    Fry
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    mysterious predator

    I need some help. I covered my pond last fall, earlier than usual because my koi stock was depleting. Even though the pond was completey covered, I lost all my fish. I went to rubber coated "lobster trap" wire. Completey covered the pond with brick about a foot apart all around to weight it down. Now that the weather is getting better I introduced more fish to my pond. They were fine for about a week and now either they are hiding or gone. The frustrating thing is there isnt a trace of them, no disturbance of the ground and wire, and no paw prints or foot prints for that matter. I live in Massachusetts and we had a very cold winter. I thought maybe a snapping turtle had found my pond but some of my missing koi were 12" long and I dont know if a turtle could devour a large koi. Plus I think they go into a semi hibernated state and I would see it. If anyone can help me I would appreciate it..please. Thank you.
    HC

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Is your pond a natural one (mud)? How large and how deep?

  3. #3
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Turtles are very temperature/metabolism motivated. Like koi. It's been too cold.
    An otter will kill koi for the sheer joy of it but usually will leave lots of sign. I have seen racoons carry off 28 inch koi and never leave a scale. But it has to be something that can get under your screen. A mink could do it. I'm thinking an
    electronic wire fence for shocking might be the ticket. Also a motion detector might tip you off to intruders and you could get a look and then once you know what your up against make your defense against it.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei
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    No mention of size...or did i miss it?
    if they are all under 8 inches you can't rule out a snake(s)...
    How many fish were being eaten in a week? What size?

    if you think it is a four-footed predator, get a flour sifter...when they go in they won't leave you much to read but on the way out they'll make a mess.

  5. #5
    Tosai
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    I have no doubt that it is a mink. Here is the mink's modus operandi: Freequents bodys of water. Eats fish. Can get thru small spaces down to 2-1/2" in radius and will carry its prey a fair distance to be consumed later. This is more than an educated guess... I raise koi and mink on the same farm and they are quite fond of koi and the neighbors chickens. The solution is to bait and set a live trap near the pond. Good hunting.

  6. #6
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM
    Is your pond a natural one (mud)? How large and how deep?
    My pond has a liner. At the deepest it is 30". I would say about 1000 gallons an

  7. #7
    Tategoi ranskye's Avatar
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    i dont want to point you toward a snapping turtle either but outa interest i saw a show on them only last week and they can take out a fish of 1 kilo easy, i saw one ripping a large fish apart, maybe the camera crew baited it with that, i dont know but theyre certainly strong enough for the job.
    i wouldnt rule out a winged creature that can get between the mesh, stand on the side and pick them off. then again i assume that rubber coated lobster wire is small mesh and your fish mightnt pull back through.
    we have water rats that could do it. we'd find scales or backbones though, if you have something thats feeding young then thats why theres no evidence.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Hlobsta: I cannot come up with an idea that makes much sense. How large are the openings in the mesh? Are you close to a lake or woods? Do the disappearances occur overnight, or during the day?

  9. #9
    Tategoi
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    I had never thought of MINK, interesting..... I did awaken one morning to a four foot heron UNDER the net I covered the pond with, but after I secured the edges it never happened again.
    ChrisC

  10. #10
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Chris, that's the beauty of having a pond in a greenhouse. Keeps lots of trouble outside!

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