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I didn’t have fish in my pond before but they are there now. How did they get there? – Pond & Lake Q & A


I didn’t have fish in my pond before but they are there now. How did they get there?

I didn’t have fish in my pond before but they are there now. How did they get there? Brenda – Golddust, TN

Where Did YOU Come From?

In states everywhere people are being shocked and amazed by the random appearance of fish in their ponds. These fish were not added by the owners of the pond but there they swim none-the-less, almost mockingly. What is this strange magic?! Is this some form of prank?! Perhaps it is the work of alien beings?! What is going on?

Unfortunately, I can not weave a tail of some sort of intricate conspiracy against pond owners across the nation. The far less captivating reason is that, by some sort of mistake, either you or Mother Nature, have unwittingly moved these fish into their new home. Fish can be introduced into new ponds in quite a few ways. Eggs or fry can be carried in on the feet or mouths of water foul and other animals, or can be clinging onto some aquatic plants you decided to add to your pond. Sometimes flooding can wash fish from nearby ponds, lakes, and streams into your pond. While you can try to prevent any fish from making it into your pond, it is pretty much inevitable that over time, they will find a way to make your pond a place of their own. It is not all bad news though, having a balanced fish population actually contributes to a healthy ecosystem and can actually provide you with a form of entertainment whether it be fishing, feeding, or just watching them from the shore.

Not sure if you have fish? Try baiting a hook and doing a little bit of fishing. Odds are if there are some fish in the pond at least one or two of them will bite. If you are not into the fishing scene you can try to place a Fish Trap in the pond with some bait and see what you pull up. You may get lucky and coax them up to the shore just by throwing some bread or Fish Food into the water. Keeping track of the size, number and types of fish you pull out of the pond will give you an idea of what type of fish population you will be dealing with later on down the road. If you notice you are only pulling out prey fish like Bluegill, you will eventually have an over abundance of little fish swimming around the pond in the seasons to come. To keep things balanced you would want to introduce a few predator fish like Bass to the pond. On the other hand, if you notice that you have a lot of small Bass in the pond, they may need a little more help with finding food. Stocking some Minnows, Bluegill, or feeding them fish food will help them grow to a more appealing size. You can read more tips on adding fish by reading our Pond Stocking Blog.

You can also find some helpful information on the pros and cons of feeding your fish with fish food or properly stocking the pond to let them feed themselves here.

POND TALK: What types of fish naturally found their way into your pond? Did you ever find out how they got there?

Grow your fish fast!

8 Responses

  1. what is this fish: long, about 3 to 4 feet, big around the body, has scales like a gator and moves slow when swimming. It also has a big back on it, is this a carp or what or what?

  2. i just dug a pond about a year ago and its only 3 foot deep by 25 foot long and 9 foot wide and there so happens to be baby fish in it im wondering what type of fish there are they are to fast for me to get a good look but i know they have 2 stripes on each side of there body

    • Hi Cory,

      What other types of fish do you have in your pond? That may be a good indication of what type of fish these may be.

  3. We performed a fish kill on our 9.5 acre lake last summer after having a fish survey performed which revealed that Gizzard Shad had taken over. We we plagued with planktonic algae. The company performed the kill in July when the water was warm, and the kill was only partially successful. Shortly after I noticed fish fry in the lake. We identified the fish as European Brown Carp. The fish kill did not kill the large carp. Fish Kill II was performed this past March when the water temp. was about 59. The Rotenone stayed active for a very long time with the water at the correct temp, and we had tens of thousand of baby carp, and about 50 larger ones die in the kill. They survived the first kill and without predation spawned in those large numbers. We placed minnows in a cage weekly to know when the chemical would no longer be active. Our HO Board restocked with 300 Largemouth Bass and some Fathead Minnows. Well, we haven’t seen a single minnow (they have all been eaten) and just a few months later we have Bluegill and RockBass in our lake, no sign of any G. Shad or Carp yet. No other lake or stream flows into our lake, so it is amazing how these fish arrived so soon. It makes me happy as I believed a balanced fishery is much better than a fishery with LM Bass only as our Board wanted. 9-10″ skinny LM Bass would not please those who fish the lake, and likely people would put fish in on their own, so it appears to be a good thing.

  4. About 6 years ago I happened to look into one of our garden ponds and saw movement out of the ordinary. Upon closer examination, we saw many tiny fish swimming around. They were not even an inch long. They grew into beautiful 5″ or 6″ long black fish, some with yellow markings, some solid. At feeding time they looked like pirrhanas(sp) at the surface. The water took on a boiling appearance as they fed. The only thing we had done differently was to add some water hyacinth plants. The eggs must have been in the roots of the plants. We already had ‘gold’ fish in the pond so we knew these were newcomers.

    This spring was the first spring that we didn’t drain the front garden pond and scrub it down. Now we have 7 or 8 tiny fish in there with the large ones. We did NOT add any plants so they must be babies from the larger fish. Some are orange, some are black and some are mixed. All are about 2″ long and eat the regular flake food as it sinks to their level in the water. It’s been fun watching them grow! I would recommend not scrubbing a pond out at the beginning of the season. If it must be scrubbed, wait until any possible fish have hatched. We may have missed out all these other years.

    Dottie

  5. Sometimes it looks like my koi are kissing putting their mouths together. What are they actually doing?

    • Wanda,

      Koi are playful by nature and are just interacting with each other, they can use their mouths to give each other a nudge. The male Koi will bump into the female Koi in during mating season to help the female release her eggs.

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