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Herons and cats may be well known pests for koi keepers but otters can also be an expensive predator.
A couple in Norfolk recently lost 200 of their 250 koi and goldfish after an opporunistic otter struck. Alan and Linda Brown lost £10,000 worth of pond fish to the furry predator.
Mr Brown told the BBC: “I couldn’t believe an otter could do so much damage. We are both dismayed. We had hundreds of fish in the pond – we had ghost koi, mirror carp, golden orfe and lots of goldfish.”
A neighbour called them when they were on holiday to tell them some carcasses had been left on their garden pond’s decking with their heads and tails intact.
The moral of the story is to buy a pond cover net, as the Browns found out. Mr Brown warned: “For the first six to seven years of being here we never even had a net. It’s just life I suppose, but more should be done to make people aware of the problems otters cause.”
Darren Tansley, from The Wildlife Trusts, said: “With all the flooding we’ve had recently we are finding a lot of otters are coming further off the rivers and expanding their territory.”
Cover Nets keep predators out of your pond and also help prevent leaves from falling into the pond causing water quality problems. The net can also keep fish from jumping out of the pond.
The design of most the nets allow for and un-intrustive view of your pond, so you can still enjoy its beauty without worrying about unwanted guests.