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  #1  
Old 03-08-2015, 18:22
RRRob RRRob is offline
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Default A strange question Re FISHING.

First as I am not a fisherman, I was not sure if I should put this question under the subject of Sport or Hobby? Eventually I thought maybe hobby fitted the bill.

OK so I am looking for advice Re a problem we have on our site. We have 2 fishing pools which are quite popular but this year they have become very popular to a very unwelcome guest. I refer of course to the scourge of the small pool fishing community A group of HERONS who are treating our fishing pools as a food source. You can't blame them of course as its just nature but I am at a loss of how we can deter them from depleting our pools. There was a suggestion from one person who shall remain nameless that we should let him on site with his shotgun & he would soon cure the problem for us. But of course that is completely unacceptable and probably illegal! So my question is.......


Is it possible to deter Herons from stealing our fish in a legal, not cruel way? We have tried buying plastic Herons & other such hunting birds from the local garden centre but they make good ornaments but are otherwise quite useless. We have noticed that sometime the birds will fly over and if they see a person around the pool, they won't approach but of course, we can't guard the place 24/7. I wondered if a scarecrow type figure might work?
Any ideas which are legal & not cruel would be welcome. Or is it just something we have to put up with? If so, we may end up with no fish at al pretty soon! You can't do what you would do with a garden type pool & fit a net over as the pools are far too big. ANY IDEAS? Short of the chap with the shotgun that is. Apart from possibly bieng illegal, I have a feeling the chap would face a lynching party from caravan owners something like you see in the Spaghetti westerns!
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Old 03-08-2015, 19:14
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eddiesolo eddiesolo is offline
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Firstly, Heron feed mainly at dusk and at dawn and this time of year they are young ones that have just left the nest and are after a easy meal.

Netting is ideal, but not in your case. Heron's like a good safe place to catch from so plant some shrubs near the edges they don't like being hemmed in and potentially in danger.

Add a water feature, Heron's like the still or calm water to fish, this will disturb the waters surface and it make it difficult.

Also plant loads of water plants, these oxygenate the water but provide fish with places to hide.

Windmills and fake birds of pray do work but you have to keep moving them or they get used to them, add different things like a shiny wind charm etc. Do not use all of them, and rotate so they don't get used to it.

Main thing is to have a human presence, especially at dawn and dusk, that is one method that does work, you could try a scarecrow but remember to move him around so that they are not sure and do not get used to it in just one place all the time.

There is no real 100% deterrent...unless you sit there all night lol.
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Old 03-08-2015, 19:42
RRRob RRRob is offline
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Some very interesting & useful ideas there so thank you. I could get the kids to make a Guy Fawkes type dummy as a holiday fun task or even a dressmakers dummy? Habe seen a couple of those on the local car boot sale.. Shiny wind chimes? How about the old idea that gardeners used to use to stop smaller birds from raiding the garden? Old CD & computer disks on strings for shiny flashing movement & back to the garden centre for a few wind chimes for the noise factor. As far as planting water plants go, our main problem is on the new pool which has only been established a year or so & you are right, there are very few plants in it compared to the older more established pool where we often have to wade in & cut them down. Wonder if we could use the small digger to dig a clump of them out & maybe replant them in the newer pool? Anyway, some good ideas to put to the fishermen & women on site. Could also ask the caravan owners whose vans look onto the pool to keep their eyes out for Heron activity & maybe have a walk around the pool when they see any activity. THANKS!
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Old 03-08-2015, 21:22
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More than annoying for anglers everywhere. I'm afraid many stocked fisheries (and some rivers) have been wiped out by herons. We have that problem locally and at a few trout fisheries I use.
In their wisdom, the government protects herons and they most definitely cannot be shot legally.
Since protection kicked in, both natural ( indigenous ) and stocked fish numbers have suffered. Short of covering ponds with netting, difficult to impossible over large areas, I'm afraid you just have to accept it.
A lot if people like herons and, if you are not an angler, I guess you don't see the problem with them.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:03
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eddiesolo eddiesolo is offline
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The CD's etc are worth a try Rob, you have lost nothing in giving them all a go, may work, may not.

I do not know the size of your pond but one thing that has been done is to create a removable net, like on a roller, again a lot of work and effort and potential expense. If you go this route, then you need to make the mesh holes small.
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Old 05-08-2015, 23:55
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Amongst other suggestions the RSPB say "A fence-like barrier with taut wires or strings 20 and 35 cm above the water surface erected at the edge of the water can prevent a heron from reaching the fish."

You can, I think, get movement activated cat scarers that squirt a jet of water at said cats - perhaps this would work for Herons if you can get a hose to the pond. It might give you hours of harmless fun if it catches the fishermen as well!!

Henry
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:19
RRRob RRRob is offline
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I will mention all these ideas to the fisher folk on site & especially the site owners to see which of the ideas would be allowed & acceptable to all caravan owners although they leave the day to day running of the fishing pools to the pole danglers. Its a bit of a compromise as to what you do because many of the caravan owners like the pools as a recreation area but are not actually into fishing. I am sure some of the ideas will be tried so thanks to all contributors.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:25
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Cd s in trees help. John would agree with the other resident. Be glad its not a cormorant a fountain style oxygenator also deters them. They like to fly low across the top of the water so anything that stops this is good
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:07
RRRob RRRob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy View Post
They like to fly low across the top of the water so anything that stops this is good
That is VERY interesting & gave me an idea. You know those plastic stakes they use for temporary electric fences to keep sheep & cattle in a confined area? We have loads of those available being part of a farm. How about some of those knocked into the ground at various points along the banks of the pool & then either string or better still, fishing line stretched across the pool in a criss cross fashion? If we used fishing twine, you would hardly see it which would be good for the caravan owners who are not interested in fishing but use the pool as a place to sit by. If the birds are flying low across the pool, you would not need a close net style arrangement, just enough to stop them flying over the pool.
Would that stop the birds flying low yet still enable the pole danglers to enjoy their hobby? Would they be able to fish with twine strung criss cross over the pool if we sited it carefully?
We could also put the strung up CD's on the electric fence posts. Minimal visual annoyance to the van owners who don't fish while maybe helping to deter the Herons.
Would have to be careful with whatever we try because we already have ducks, Canada Geese & Moorhens who come year after year to raise a family & most of the van owners enjoy feeding the birds. In fact, the site owner has a dustbin at the pool side full of bird feed which you can grab a handful and feed the birds. So we would need to be careful that we try & deter the Herons but not the established wildlife.
All good ideas worth a try......... with care! so thanks again everyone.
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