Lasers Protect Fisheries from Bird Predation

Apr 11, 2023

Great Egret hunting fish

A major source of loss for fisheries in the Midwest is from birds. While exact numbers are hard to pin down, some piscivorous birds can eat a pound of fish per day, and often wound countless others as they search for their meal.

The birds that pose the greatest threat to Midwest fisheries include:


Great blue heron

Green heron

Great egret

Belted kingfisher

Bald eagle




How Do Birds Hunt Fish?

Birds hunt fish in a variety of ways: some stalk their prey along the shoreline while others dive or swoop to catch passing fish.

For example, Great Blue Herons are shoreline feeders who hunt both alone and in groups. They walk the edge of the water to stalk then spear passing fish with their sharp beaks. While they might only eat a couple of fish, they will peck at several others, making them unsellable.

Cormorants voraciously feed on fish in the Great Lakes region. They are adept hunters and strong swimmers who sit on the water, then dive under the surface to catch their prey.

Ospreys – also known as fish hawks – hover in the air to stalk. Once a fish they like swims by, they dive into the water to catch it with their talons.

Many of these birds will hang around all year if the water doesn’t freeze over and their food source remains plentiful.

Deterring Bird Predation on Fisheries

Automated lasers have proven to be very effective at preventing birds from feeding on and wounding fish at fisheries.

When lasers sweep a targeted area, birds – who perceive the beams as threats – fly away. The solution is long-lasting, humane and non-disruptive to humans, fish and the environment.

To deter birds from feasting at fisheries, the best practice is to program lasers to swipe the open areas and tree lines where birds stage before they begin to hunt. The sweeping beams will cause birds to reconsider where they get their next meal.

The upfront cost of automated lasers like the AVIX Mark II is higher than many other deterrent solutions, but the technology is so effective and long-lasting that it typically pays for itself. Implemented correctly, the AVIX Mark II eliminates up to 90% of bird nuisances.

AVIX Mark II lasers only run when needed, use solar power and can be easily moved to deter birds as they migrate to different bodies of water. Each laser runs custom programming, so birds cannot habituate to a single pattern. Once a laser is set up and programmed for a fishery, the work is done.

Wild Goose Chase Indy has used lasers to effectively and humanely control birds for two decades. Since 2015, our team has sold and installed AVIX Mark II lasers on fisheries, farms and other properties.

If you struggle to control predatory birds at your fishery and are interested in learning more about automatic laser solutions, reach out to our team of experts for a site plan tailored to your property and problem.

Contact us to learn more about laser bird control solutions