How to Rid a Fish Pond of a Snake in One Easy Step

Yesterday I leaned over the pond to adjust the water fountain as I always do, lost my footing and in a flash I hit the water creating a pond-sized tsunami that blanketed the flower bed.  As I fought to regain my footing in the midst of lily pads, I spotted our resident water snake bolt like a rocket from the pond and quickly escape to safety across the yard.  This was a moronic way to solve the snake problem but, hey, I think I scared it enough that it won’t be back.

This harmless 16” snake took up residence about a month ago.  Very timid, it always would disappear into rocks when I approached and my glimpses were fleeting.  But I saw enough to identify it as an Eastern Garter snake, a common snake in the area that can adapt to a variety of habitats including fish ponds.  They mainly eat earthworms but will feed on amphibians and fish.  I tried a variety of ways to catch it including nets, flushing it from the rocks with a hose, but it outfoxed me every time… until now.

Wipe that smile off!

I was relieved that mister gardener did not witness my humiliating misadventure but as I climbed from the pond, I noticed Big Bullfrog just watching me.  Is that a grin on his face?

Ann Hohenberger, The Garden Club of Gloucester


5 thoughts on “How to Rid a Fish Pond of a Snake in One Easy Step

  1. A novel approach to the problem. Must pass this on to Jane Smith who had to resort to all manner of drastic measures to rid her pond of a snake.


    • Sarah,
      Yes, please pass along the handy snake tip. It works like a ‘charm,’ but you must endure a few aches and pains the next day.


  2. Coincidentaly you are posting pictures of frogs. I encounted three yesterday. None had a sheepish grin! I am glad the sly snake was too fast to get photograph. A picture is worth a thousand words. I’m looking forward to Wordless Wednesday.


  3. Our pond was invaded last year by a northern water snake. This gave me quite a turn, as they resemble copperheads in coloration, and I had just been wading around fertilizing water lilies. Paradise corrupted! No luck trying to catch it with a net. Our pond expert recommended that we just wait a few days to see if it moved on. In his experience, they rarely stay more than a few days in artificial ponds. This proved to be the case, although it devastated the fish population before leaving. A garter snake would likely be a more permanent resident, although a good deal less alarming.


    • Oh dear! That’s a beautiful snake that I think I have seen near our marsh but never near the fish pond. If I’d encountered your snake, I think I, not the snake, would have shot out of the water like a rocket.


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