Pond problem

Hello ... I've been a lurker for awhile now and always enjoy reading about growing things.
Our problem is as follows: We live near a creek and recently had a spring dug out to make a small pond. To keep the moss out of the shallows, we floated tiny barley bales on the surface. That was working well until something discovered the bales and chewed through the tie lines and ate them. Raccoons? Turtles? We don't know what ate them (no footprints thanks to heavy rains here in Virginia), nor do we have a clue how to keep the critters from doing it again. Anybody have any experience with this or any ideas?
Suz
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I have a 15'x45' pond and use "Bale in a Bag" barley straw bales from:
http://www.baleinabag.net/pondtreat.asp
I actually bought them at my local Ace Hardware. You open the bales and place the straw in bags about the size of a 25# bag of potatoes. They are plastic mesh bags. Something ate a hole in the top of my bag, it think it was the snails. However the remainder of the bag is still floating since May.
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If snails did the deed here, then we're moving to higher ground! :) Our hungry diners cut the tie ropes and either ate the bales or hauled them off. One family member had the following sympathetic response: "LOL------coon sitting on a floating barley-bale in the pond; slowly eating and sinking."
Suz
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