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great blue heron problem

Protecting Against Herons

Protecting Against Herons

The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a majestic bird with its long wingspan and bright colors in the wild, but is a major issue in the backyard koi fish pond AKA sushi bar! Protecting against herons is a common question.

Lets take a look at it from a birds point of view, to try to get into the mind of a heron.  The bird is flying 200 foot up looking for dinner, comes across a crystal clear pond, as most ponds are filtered full of brightly colored fish, lands has dinner and moves on.

To combat this, the pond keeper has many options.  Most work well but nothing is guaranteed. This is nature after all.  Pond owners have asked us for years what works.

Great Blue Herons are protected by state and federal law which makes it illegal to capture or kill them without a permit. If the birds become a serious problem, a depredation permit may be obtained through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Permit Office (

Some useful tips help Protecting Against Herons for your pond and other unwanted visitors

  • Have plenty of surface cover the fish can hide under like lily pads or floating pond plant baskets
  • Herons like to land and walk up to the pond so place natural barriers like small bushes or picket fences
  • Use motion activated outside lights that cover the pond to come on at dawn and dusk
  • Blue Heron Decoy helps to keep Herons away from your pond by using the herons desire to fish alone against them

Heron Decoy

Most popular and a best seller at PondH2o is the Heron Decoy, works best if moved every 2-3 days and removed during mating season in the spring. Works on the principal that herons are solitary feeders.  If a heron see’s one already at a pond it will keep going to the next one.

Pond Predator Barriers

Velda Heron Stop can be quite effective on smaller ponds as herons do not like to jump but walk into the water so get spooked when triggers the bells for added fright.

Many different ones on the pond market, Alligator Heads, Owls, Hawks, Snakes, Bird Eyes, Spinners, Flags to name a few, work by basically spooking the bird. Seem to work best as a program of 3 or 4 different types placed around or on the pond to totally confuse the heron.

Pond Protection Cover Netting

Best option for your water garden koi fish pond protection is pond cover netting.  It can be unsightly, but great in the fall to keep falling leaves and debris from entering the water.

PIR Water Jets

Like the Jet-Spray Fox Repeller can be the most successful as also soaks cats, raccoons, bears etc as well, but needs a permanent water supply and batteries have to be replaced.


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