Monday, 15 March 2010

Any wildlife experts out there?

Between our neighbours and us we have several garden ponds and a stream that flows at the bottom of our gardens. Our fish have not fared too well this winter as the ponds have often been iced over and we've had to turn the pump off several times. We've had a few casualties but now we can see no fish except for the very smallest ones. Our neighbour has discovered pawprints (with long claws) around one of his ponds and we have some fishscales left behind at the scene of the crime.  We're suspecting an otter and would love to hear about anybody's experience or advice....


  1. Louise,
    There is a chance that an Otter could have feasted on your fish as this event is not unheard of. However there is also a chance that the culprit may have been Mink. I know which one I would have preferred to be nicking my fish!

  2. Louise
    If you have a stream close by I suspect it may be an otter, although Mink cannot be ruled out. The recent cold weather has forced many species to look at alternative sources for food, and garden ponds are usually stocked with a banquet of ornamental fish, I lost some of mine to Herons! But if I was lucky enough to have otters about I think I could accept a few lost fish, as long as I saw them and not just their prints!

  3. It depends on the fish! I agree that it's great to see otters, but I would rather not lose a £300 koi to a heron, cat or even an otter... Lost a juvenile koi a few years ago to a large crow that didn't even have the decency to make a meal out of it, preferring instead to peck it to death.

  4. Otters chosen diet are Eels, but will take fish and indeed pond fish if they are easy to get at. The answer is to either cover the pond with wire netting (not very pretty) or to surround the pond with wire supported on small posts. One strand of wire needs to be 150mm above the ground and another one 200mm above that. Otters don't jump and being hump backed cannot get under the wire.
    I got this from a fish farm owner who seems to know what he is talking about. Mike.