Pond Preadators - Fish Eaters
We all love
our ponds, lakes and all of their inhabitants. It's part of what
makes owning a pond special, being able to observe Mother Nature in
all her glory. However, Nature can be cruel, It's a "Fish eat Fish"
world out there and there are some predators that we should consider
persuading not to visit our ponds. Especially after we just had it
stocked with high quality fish.
The Cormorant - aka Water Turkey
The most notorious of all fish eating birds, the double crested
cormorant arrives in Texas during the winter months and feast on fish.
Some times seen in flocks numbering anywhere from 5-100 birds the Water
Turkey can do serious damage to the fish population in a small pond.
Though protected by the state you can apply for a depredation permit
through Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The River Otter
Cute and cuddly River Otters are serious fish eaters. Quick, agile and
strong swimmers, most fish are no match for an adult Otter. Most Otter
populations are nocturnal so pond owners seldom know they are there.
Fish bones and mud slides going into the pond and declining fish
populations are typically the only signs of an Otter population.
The Great Blue Heron
Another majestic creature who feeds primarily on fish. The Great Blue
Heron can consume fish upto 1.5 lbs with relative ease, however they can
not swim like the River Otter and Cormorant and are some
what less of a threat. Most herons will feed on minnows,
bluegill and just about any other small fish they can reach
from the shorelines. Bass populations are not treatened by
the presence of Blue Herons, though they will eat some bass.