Ideas for existing pond - Smaller and Bog or ?

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by Charles Richard, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. Charles Richard

    Charles Richard Active Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
    Hello,
    We have a pond 7' x 14' x 3.5' deep (in for the 10yrs.). Sited with a beautiful Gunnera beside it.
    In the past three years we have had a mink get in and clean it out. The first year it was covered with a net and the fish had been in it since its conception. The have since covered the hole thing with black wire mesh and the mink chewed through the wire.
    We are pondering (no pun intended), either going smaller and/or turning it into a march or bog garden, simply because it is to expensive stocking it, only to feed the mink with Koi.
    I am wondering if anyone has some unique ideas. We would be interested in hearing them.
    We love the pond, watching the fish swim and the sound of the water movement.
    Having the pond just for plant life unfortunely, just becomes a breeding area for the mosquitoes.
    Any thoughts would be welcomed.
    Have a Merry Christmas
     
  2. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    Location:
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    Aside from traps (humane or not) perhaps you could try 'predator urine' repellent, such as Shake-Away or similar. Supposedly these products create the olfactory illusion that the pest animal's nemesis (bobcat, in this case) is in the neighborhood and away go the minks. Worth a try, maybe.

    Do you have an extension or wildlife service near you that would help you trap these wily mustelids? Hmm. Perhaps you could obtain a permit to keep bobcats on your property! That'd teach 'em.

    The bog/marsh idea is interesting...all sorts of cool plants you could cultivate in that environment.

    Would like to see photos of your pond!

    And to you as well, Charles, a merry Christmas and festive New Year.
     
  3. shoshe

    shoshe Member

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    sooke
    Don`t give up yet.We went through the same with our koi pond.Try making hiding places in the deep end.Overturned clay pots or a section of pipe.Or you could cover it with 1 inch chicken wire(works but ugly)If you still lose your koi you can always go buy 50 or 100 feeder goldfish(.30 cent each) and let them naturalize.They will start breeding and replace any lost to predation.
     
  4. bjo

    bjo Active Member

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    algarve portugal
    I have seen a very low electric fence used successfully to keep mink out of a fish pond. Only problem is to make sure that grass and other plants do not touch the wire and short the system. A humane trap is a baited narrow pipe more or less blocked at one end, and laid on the ground near the pond. The mink will go in after the bait but then cannot turn around or reverse out. Problem then is what to do with the mink when you empty out the pipe!

    Good Luck
    Brian
     
  5. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Hi,
    If it isn't mink it is going to be herons or raccoons on this island.
    Stocking with small goldfish when the season starts would be an inexpensive solution to try and keep those mosquitoes down.
    I once saw a naturalized sort of a rock, built pond that long had things growing in it and sustained enough goldfish despite the raids by the herons. Plants too provided hiding places.

    That's a great mink trap !

    D
     
  6. GreenElephant

    GreenElephant Active Member

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    Stock it with a few trout or other native species. They are much faster and harder to catch than koi and will keep the bugs down. Golden tench (I don't know if they are sold here) are fast moving too. You can also plant a lot of feeder goldfish cheaply. They will keep the bugs down and when the herons or the mink eat them it's not a great financial loss.

    I'd rather see the mink, racoons, kingfishers, and herons and try to make my peace with them.
     
  7. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Anyone know if frogs will control mosquitos?

    Can mink catch or spot small fish, or darker fish?

    Raccoons is about all we have down here to contend with.
     
  8. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I had similar thoughts regarding the small fish. Something like Fathead minnows would likely be small enough to not attract too much attention from mink, but make very effective predators of mosquito larvae. In fact the smaller size compared to Koi is better for controlling such small prey. Also with the Koi no longer present to eat them, dragonfly and damselfly larvae will establish and hunt the mozzie larvae.

    Frog tadpoles will eat them too, but not at all stages of the life-cycle, I believe most species start off as vegetarian.
     
  9. bjo

    bjo Active Member

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    Hi,

    If hungry and there is no other choice, mink will eat quite small fish - certainly down to 15g (~1/2 ounce). But given the choice they will go for larger fish - it is more rewarding. Brightly coloured fish like Koi are more likely to be eaten - which is why apart from escapees from garden ponds etc ,there are no naturally occurring bright goldfish or carp.


    Brian
     

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