Do Possums or Raccoons Eat Fish, What Animals Eat My Pond Fish?

Do you have a backyard pond with Koi, Goldfish, or other fish? Are you worried about predators such as possums and raccoons eating your fish? This blog post will help identify the animals that eat your fish, including how to keep them away. 

Possums are omnivores meaning they eat both plants and meat. They can be found in trees, on the ground, or in a water source such as ponds. Raccoons are also omnivores but prefer to hunt at night for their food (typically small mammals).

If there is an easy meal available they may take it even if it’s not what they usually eat. Why don’t we do something to protect our beloved pet fish from becoming dinner with all of these threats around? There are a few things you can do and I’ll give some of my suggestions below.

How to protect your pond fish from an attack of possums and raccoons?

  1. Use motion-detector lighting and sprinklers in strategic places. The light should scare the possum away before it can reach your fish. And if not, then you have a pond sprinkler on hand that will spray water all over it.
  2. To protect your fish from raccoons, you can use an electric fence. Many people don’t want to harm the animals but will do what they have to in order to save their fish. I’ve even seen people put bigger lizards into the ponds as a way of deterring predators such as alligators.  However, be aware that lizards will feed on your fish too if they get the chance.
  3. The best way to protect your fish is by using a pond cover. This includes something as simple as an underwater pillowcase or floating bubble wrap.  Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to saving fish from predators.

Can raccoons eat fish from my pond?

Yes, it is possible that raccoons can eat your fish from your pond. The reason being is they are attracted to the garden hose that’s used to fill up the pond and will often wash up with others during the day (such as birds).

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They will also eat the fish food sitting in a pond and sometimes even nibble on some of your plants. Another reason they are attracted to ponds is that it’s surrounded by vegetation which makes them feel safe when there are neighboring humans or dogs around.

fish pond waterfall videos
fish pond waterfall videos

Raccoons have been known to take fish from ponds and dunk them into the water to keep cool on hot evenings. They usually suck out the fish’s insides while it still lives for a few minutes, leaving only the skin behind in the pond bed, or in some cases, they will just tip over your koi pond liner. Raccoons will sometimes just pick the fish out of the pond by their necks, which is quite a chilling sight to see.

Locate your raccoon bait station at least 30 inches above the ground and away from your pond. You can also place some dry dog food around the area so they are attracted to that instead of your fish.

If a raccoon has found your fish food, just change the way you store it. Move it away from where they can access them and place some plants that aren’t edible around the area to give off an odor they don’t like.

How do I stop possums eating my goldfish?

Possums eat both plants and animals and will often come looking for food during the nighttime. The best thing you can do to prevent them from eating your goldfish is by covering up your pond with a lightproof cover. 

Make sure that there aren’t any gaps such as plant leaves or any other holes (even tiny ones) on the lid if it’s not sealed down tight. They can still find a way in through the smallest of holes and will rip off the plastic just to get inside.

If you’ve already had possums attack your goldfish pond, then you’ll need to take further measures such as using chemicals to stop them coming back again or putting metal netting around it.

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Get some motion-sensing lights to keep them from coming around or it’ll just attract more animals. You can even try putting some mothballs down if you really want to scare them away.

As for other animals such as raccoons, you can use the same deterrent methods I mentioned above. They aren’t too keen on light and will usually stay away from it at all costs.

How do I keep birds away from my pond?

Birds love ponds for their water source, but once they discover that there is food sitting inside it, well that’s a whole different game.

Bird netting isn’t cheap but can be rolled out across the top of your pond. It will still allow water to filter through and keep the grass, plants, etc. safe from being eaten up too.

You can also buy some pond netting that comes with spikes attached so birds don’t walk on it or sit on top of the water.

Birds will stomp around in your pond, scattering fish food, mud, and other debris. They also like to use them as a place to defecate – which is another reason why you should put some bird netting around.

Just be sure to secure it down good enough so they don’t just rip through it like other animals. If you want to keep birds out of your pond but still let the water flow, then try hiding some fish food around the area. Make sure that it’s unnoticeable and won’t smear out in the rain.

How to prevent from animals eating my pond plants?

Pond plants are great to have around because it’s an added benefit for your fish. They help keep the water clean and provide extra oxygen for them to breathe as well.

Some animals like to snack on your plants or even tear holes in the plastic in order to find their next meal. Keep these signs of things eating out of your pond to a minimum by adding some lightproof pond covers and if you have an underground liner, put in some netting around the edges.

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You can also try spraying them down with water but they still might come back for more. Some gardeners even use garlic spray to keep these little guys away from their plants as well as other animals such as deer.

How to prevent from animals eating my pond fish?

Some people have tried putting up some fencing around the edges of their pond, but raccoons or other scavengers will just dig underneath it or tear right through the material. You can use any type of netting you want for this to keep them out. This will keep them from getting into the pond and sometimes even falling in.

Netting that is already staked down can easily be ripped off by a raccoon or possum so I wouldn’t recommend using it for that purpose.

Hanging bird netting over your main fish pile isn’t necessary, but if you have smaller ones sitting closer to the edge, then it’d be a good idea to put some over them.

In conclusion

The raccoon is the most common animal that eats fish from a pond. Raccoons love to eat during any time of day and will scurry into your yard or garden, looking for food. They are known as nocturnal animals which means they sleep all day and hunt at night.

If you are wondering what other animals like eating your ponds fish, it’s possums who chow down on them too. These mammals have sharp teeth that allow them to rip through anything in their way including an aluminum can let alone some tasty freshly caught trout fillet sitting by the shoreline waiting to be eaten up.

Possums might not seem scary but they’re actually just about the nastiest thing out there when it comes to attacking your fish. These little guys will tear the heads off of your fish, not leaving much left to throw back in.

Keeping animals away from your pond isn’t too hard as long as you use these tips and tricks while also preventing them from getting into it.

References:

What Do Opossums Eat? http://www.centurianwildlife.com/get-rid-of-possum-bait.html

Raccoons https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/wildlife-resources/animals/raccoon/