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Fish Kill - Mink?

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Postby Woodentop » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:50 am

What a horrible day, went out to my growing on/temp pond and found 2 fish carcasses[:o]. Both had their heads missing and were in a horrible state[:o]

The pond is a 570 gallon round plastic vat and so is about 4 foot off the ground, the cover is made of heavy duty plastic mesh supported by wooden battens, so I thought at least cat/heron proof. It looks like something has forced it's way under the netting and killed the fish, there are lots of scales on the bottom of the pond.

Today I've felt like giving up koi keeping, as I was about to build a new pond, but to design it like Fort Knox does take the pleasure out of it. I'm assuming it must be a mink[:@] Sorry to bang on about it, but any ideas how to make sure the others are safe?
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Postby dave g » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:50 pm

Bad news mate, I guess the only thing you can do is get a trap, mink are classed as vermin so no problem knocking it on the head.
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Postby koi boy tom » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:50 pm

ouch!!![:(] thats terrible[:@][:@] i suggest you get one of those vermin things, my uncle has one on his farm to keep rats away. it gives off a high pitched signal and the vermin stay away
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Postby Woodentop » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:50 pm

I'm going to make it pay, BIG TIME! Just looking for traps now...I'm on a mission!
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Postby koinutz » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:06 pm

Hi Woodentop.

First off I'm really sorry to hear of your Koi losses.
I have heard of mink and otter taking Koi from ponds, it was on the TV not long ago where someone had their Koi pond emptied by an otter and it left carnage behind.
It sounds like you may have had a visit from one or the other.
You say the top is 4 feet of the ground, is there anything close by that an animal could use to gain access
4 foot straight up a shiny sided vat may be a little tricky even for a mink.
Do you have a river close by?
A raised pond with fairly high sides maybe your best bet.
If the vat has nothing surrounding it I would have thought even a mink couldn't get enough purchase to gain access to the top.
An otter although extremely agile I dont think can jump to well (very short in the leg).
I think I would look closely at anything around the vat that could be used to give purchase and climb up.
Would that make sense?

Andy T
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Postby koi boy tom » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:06 pm

[quote]ORIGINAL: Woodentop

I'm going to make it pay, BIG TIME! Just looking for traps now...I'm on a mission!
[/quote]

good on ya[:D]
were they nice koi?
do you have any pics before the attack?
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Postby chabev10 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:06 pm

I know a man who will sell you some mink traps pm me and i'll give you his number [;)] you might get them for the price of the postage the farm closed years back, I skinned the last mink there in 1998 but he still has all the cage's n traps.
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Postby Woodentop » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:06 pm

No pics KBT, but they had been raised from eggs as my daughter was involved in a koi breeding project at Sparsholt. So the fish meant a lot to us[:o]

Andy, there is the filter alongside the pond, which is on raised blocks, so easy enough for a mink to get to the top of the pond. I do have a stream through the garden and a river about 1/2 mile as the crow flies.

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Postby koi boy tom » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:23 pm

[quote]No pics KBT, but they had been raised from eggs as my daughter was involved in a koi breeding project at Sparsholt. So the fish meant a lot to us [/quote]

awww thats a sickener[:(]
whats the breeding program? sounds interesting
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Postby Woodentop » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:23 pm

I can't remember the details, but it involved stripping the eggs etc. We then raised the fry in an aquarium before release to the pond when they were about an inch long
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Postby koi boy tom » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:23 pm

[quote]ORIGINAL: Woodentop

I can't remember the details, but it involved stripping the eggs etc. We then raised the fry in an aquarium before release to the pond when they were about an inch long
[/quote]

cool sounds interesting, i bet that was fun. watching them progress
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Postby gipping koi » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:23 pm

Mink will kill and only eat liver if there are more fish around, otters will kill more then they can eat,bite the heads of, or tails so they are there for later, we have had major problems with otters in our area,
BEWARE IT WILL BE BACK TONIGHT OR AT DUSK IN THE MORNING.
sounds like a otter to me
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Postby dan57682001 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:23 pm

Hi sorry to here of your lose,
My gramp owns a fishery and he had big problems with otters, they used to catch big carp eat the head and leave the rest, He didnt seem to catch much using traps but over come the problem using electric fence all around the 6 lakes there, these fences were only a foot high but kept them away even to this day. hopefully the traps will work for you.
get that tank covered up as best as you can untill you manage to catch the problem pest, because they will be back!!

good luck with it hopefully they will be better news soon for you.

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Postby koinutz » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:13 pm

[quote]ORIGINAL: Woodentop
Andy, there is the filter alongside the pond, which is on raised blocks, so easy enough for a mink to get to the top of the pond. I do have a stream through the garden and a river about 1/2 mile as the crow flies.
[/quote]

Hi Woodentop.

Could be either animal by the sounds of it then.
Otter have been increasing in numbers especially down your neck of the woods over the last couple of years.
Having a river and stream so close would re-inforce the theory as well.
Your certainly going to have to place something robust over the vat tonight as either animal will know where there is an easy meal.
Lets hope its mink and a trap sorts things out for you, either way where theres one there can be two though.
If its otter rather than mink I can see it will be very difficult to control.
Christ I feel sorry for you honest I do !!
Can you make up something out of chiken wire all around tha pond area?

Andy T
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Postby Woodentop » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:30 pm

Thanks Andy, really appreciate your kind words.

I've been out today and made sure every inch of the cover is secure, will have to see if it's enough.

It's a real kick in the gut when you have looked after the fish during this winter, even heating to make sure they are OK, and just when the warmer weather arrives..this happens[:@]
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Postby koinutz » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:46 pm

Good luck Pete.
Have you got some polycarbonate sheet you can lay over the top weighted down?
Let us know how you get on tomorrow.

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Postby gipping koi » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:46 pm

you can use rabbit cage traps to catch mink,with liver our oily fish, but you will need a gun to shoot them. if a otter in trap a full tank of fuel and a long drive for it.
i live in suffolk,suffolk wildtrust trap them, a friend has fishing lakes,and they were very happy to trap them for him.
check your garden for dropping from otter they use the same places to go each time.
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Postby koi boy tom » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:46 pm

stay up and keep an eye out or set a camera. at least then you know what your up against
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Postby gipping koi » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:46 pm

mink are like stealth fighters, fast sharp and dangerous killers,they will tak chickens when times are lean. and work in pairs
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