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Mystery of the Missing Fish

by Brian Brooker - 09:41 on 28 November 2009

We have a garden pond, not terribly big but certainly big enough.  It measures about 15 feet by around 10 with a depth of some 4ft in the middle.  It has a waterfall at one end and over the four years that it's been there we have enjoyed listening to the sound of the falling water and watching the fish gently swimming among the plants and greenery.

Now it's true that we have had to put some fine fishing wire around the perimeter to deter the local heron but that has worked well and the fish continued to grow, some of them being ghost carp were around 10 inches in length and no doubt felt assured of a protected well fed life ahead of them but then one day disaster struck!!

I say one day but it was actually over a period of three days that some 60 fish of varying size disappeared from the pond.  Well, traces were left behind.  We found the tail end of two very large fish still in the water and plenty of fish scales on the sides of the pond where they had been eaten.

Does anyone know what animal may have done this dastardly act!  It seems to me that it may have been either an otter or a mink but I have no certainty.  Has anyone else suffered this problem? 

Comment from graham at 20:21 on 28 November 2009.
some might have put a pike in there
Comment from Dr. Kevin Pell at 12:23 on 01 December 2009.
We also suffered the loss of four of our Japanese Koi measuring some 18-24 inches in length over a period of three nights from our Japanese garden ponds. Our German sheppards chased of something on the last occasion and in the morning we found one of the dead Koi on the larwn where the liver area had been eaten (always the first bit to be eaten by an otter or mink) but had ovibously been disturbed by our dogs.
We set a humane otter trap baited with sardines curtesy of our gardner in the hope of being able to move him some distance away from the surounding area but to no avail.
We have not had a return visit since and we have now fenced in the gap that he got through, otters are not very good at climbing unlike mink and a mink would not be able to carry a 24 inch plus Koi the distance he had to eat it so we are pretty convinced that the culprit was indeed an otter.
Kevin and Teresa Pell -The Old Bakery, Caston
Comment from Rob Summers at 11:25 on 06 December 2009.
This has not happened to me in the four years we haved lived here but when we lived in Dartford we were woken one night by the sound of screaming. Looking out of the window there were two foxes having a go at each other, one of them with one of my koi carp in its mouth. I hurried down stairs and into the garden to scare them off - there were fish scattered all over mine and the neighbour's garden but luck was on our side. The wife and I picked them up and put them back in the pond to which most survive to this day. So if you have foxes near to you it could be them.
Comment from anonymous at 19:26 on 05 January 2010.
Only last week we woke up to find a grizzly bear eating our beloved fish luckily they were a common species of tesco value fish fingers so no harm done
(I'm open minded enough to publish your humourous note - pity you weren't brave enough to give your name! Ed.)

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