Protecting Your Pond – Stopping Herons and other Predators

It’s every pond owners’ nightmare – perfecting your pond, getting it all set up with your beautiful fish, and then some pesky bird coming through and attacking them. But how do you stop them? There are lots of products available on the market, but do they really work? The products out there all have their pros and cons, but which is right for you?

The most advanced option, and therefore the highest price point, is the Velda Pond Guard, a high-tech complete unit that is installed around the pond and produces a combination of lights and sounds when triggered by an animal. The noises produced are mimics of birds of prey, so they should easily scare off a heron. This uses a sensor system to detect anything entering the designated area, and then lets off the noises and flashes of light as required. It comes with 3 function options to suit your requirements, and also a day/night indicator. This being effective is completely dependent on being set up in the correct location, so testing and alterations may be required.

The most affordable choice is the Velda Pond Protector Kit Electric Fence, a make it yourself fence that is a discreet protector against cats and herons. The electrical pulse is a low harmless constant to deter animals, across its 80m wire, which can be set up perfectly around your pond. There is even an optional extension kit for larger ponds, making this suitable for everyone. All that’s required is to place your stakes around the pond and connect the wire around them, and this will then produce a low pulse when touched. As barriers go, this will offer the best deterrent for animals, as not only will it stop them from getting to the pond, but it should put them off attempting again, teaching them to stay away through the negative experience. Cons? It will only work if touched, so placement is crucial. Be sure to get this as close to the edge as possible in order to increase its effectiveness.

A similar but slightly easier option is to have the same wiring around the pond but without the electrical aspect to bother to wire in. The Velda Heron Stop has the same stakes to be placed around with the wire looped between them, but with small bells across the wires instead, so when the wire is disturbed the bells will rattle and scare off the animals. This is much easy to set up, and easier to rearrange as required, however the risk is that the bells are not enough to put off all animals. If your heron is particularly brazen, this may not be fully effective.

The Velda Brilliant Pyramid is a simple to use addition to a pond, which is worthwhile to put on regardless, and can be used with most other products as well. This easy floating device is eco-friendly as you simply place it on the pond, with the fixing cords secured to the sides of the pond. As the sun shines down it reflects the rays and scares the oncoming herons off. On problem is if it’s not so sunny, it’s not so effective.

Another easy to use and install piece of equipment is the Velda Heron Stop Spinner. This is similar to the pyramid as its designed to reflect and shine back to put off herons, with an effective “eye” design to frighten predators into thinking there is already something bigger than them there, so to stay away. This is simply hung over the pond on a rod, so is super easy to set up.

The most basic version of deterrents tend to be either a net over the top of the pond, to simply prevent anything from getting to the pond at all, or a decoy heron, which just sits by the edge of the pond and is designed to put off other herons from entering the decoys territory.

The simple answer is that not everything will work for everyone, it will be very dependent on the animals in your area, and on your particular pond. Nets may be unsightly, but if anchor correctly really will provide the best defence. The Pond Protector Electric Fence may be the be-all and end-all, but if you don’t have electricity available then it could be an enormous hassle, and the Heron Stop may be a much easier solution. For fewer predators a simple Pyramid or Spinner may be enough to prevent them coming at all, saving you in money and time spent in installing something.

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Fran is OATA certified and has been keeping and working with fish for more than 10 years. She has multiple tanks, including Marine fish-only and reef systems. Her main passion is in keeping nano systems, both freshwater and marines, and overcoming the challenges they bring.


  • Avatar William McGuire Posted 18/01/2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The protection that you have described may be good for the Herron and cats bug do you have a solution for minks. I gave had my pond emptied on 3 occasions by a mink and I am now considering putting metal fencing over the pond in an effort to prevent further loss of fish.

  • Avatar colin Posted 16/02/2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have had the same problem recently too so any advice from anyone would be great …. don’t really want to cover my pond as it’ll spoil the natural beauty

  • Avatar J Lo Posted 02/06/2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    Disappointing that Williams question remains un-answered.

    Decoy herons are a waste of money. A heron flying over sees what it believes is another heron and thinks “Ooh look, a heron. There must be food there”

    What has worked for me is growing a tree over the pond. Yes, the blossom and leaves are a massive pain but preferable to having the fish eaten.

    I also have a jacuzzi-like pond surface due to 2x60lpm air pumps. Vertical pond sides make it harder for a heron to wade in.

    Oh and a sign that says “No Herons”

  • Avatar TC Posted 02/06/2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I lost all my fish overnight to Mink, set a humane trap down and caught 2 of them all be it to late to save the fish. Left the baited trap down for a few weeks after but never saw any more of them fortunately.

  • Avatar Peter Stanley Posted 05/05/2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I lost all my fish due to what I think may be rats or possibly a heron.Had a net over the pond but to no avail,whatever it was took them despite my best efforts.

  • Avatar L wells Posted 09/05/2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to those idiots (animals rights)who released all the mink from farms
    I to have had a visit ,trap them !but you must destroy them as they are a invasive species
    Or they will kill something else like more fish or water voles

  • Avatar Anne Baker Posted 21/07/2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Lost one of my large goldfish to a grass snake last year, it also entered my filter and ate all the frogs that live in side. Managed to capture the snake and return it to the local nature reserve.Had a problem with Herons as a colony nested on our local lake, fortunately a colony of Terns set up home on the lake and decided the herons should move on, a very noisy argument.

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