Releasing To a Pond

by Adrienne
(Pantego, North Carolina)

Have an acre or better pond--just has frogs in it so far--we try to eliminate the snapping turtles as soon as we see them.

I have 5 goldfish--all over 4 inches long, and I'm feeling sad they only have a 10 gal tank at this time. Should I introduce them into the pond? Could they survive?

We live in Pantego, NC, and it rarely gets below 20 Fahrenheit.

Grant's Reply

Hi Adrienne

I suggest and acre pond is more like a small lake than a pond!

Goldfish are very adaptable, as can be proven by the numbers found in plague proportions in many natural waterways. A large pond or slow moving waterway is their natural habitat.

I have made mention of releasing Goldfish into natural waterways before and cannot condone it in any circumstances.

In your case however, as long as the pond doesn't drain into a natural waterway, your goldfish could be released into the pond.

However, there are a few provisos.

At 4 inches long, whether this is body length or total length, they are a bit small.

In their natural state, goldfish are a dull bluish grey when viewed from the top. Your fish I assume are a bright orange color, easily seen by herons and other fish eating animals.

I also assume your fish are a single tailed variety with normal eyes, as these would be the fish that had the best chance of survival.

If the pond already has frogs, it will have other wildlife that eats frogs and fish, such as the snapping turtles you mention.

If you release them into the pond, there will be one of two outcomes:

1. The fish survive, breed like rabbits and take over the pond or,

2. Disappear within a few days and are never seen again.

If you do decide to release them into the pond, I would do so in spring, so they have a good growing period before winter.

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Mar 29, 2024
Releasing goldfish into retention pond
by: Kat

Hi, 5 years ago the previous home owners released their pet goldfish into the retention pond. They survive each year with the pond being frozen. We had -15 degrees weather this year. Just checked the pond there are at least 1000 small goldfish. The pond is still a bit dirty from the snow run off, once it clears up I am sure I will see more.

Sep 03, 2021
Goldfish Over-population
by: Grant

There are only two options, let nature take its course, and through die offs and cannibalism of young fish the numbers will self regulate as any natural eco-system does, or...
Regularly clean the pond and dispose of surplus fish.

Sep 01, 2021
What to do if over population occurs
by: Anonymous

So what do you do if/when gold fish population grows to much?

Jul 10, 2021
Regarding the above comment
by: Anonymous

Many fish breeders have carp in fresh-water ponds located all throughout the United States (And I'd guess all other countries, too) - and while they are considered invasive species, the only risk of that happening in your situation is if you don't have a proper barrier between your pond and a local waterway. Our pond is up on a large hill, with a pipe to drainage if it gets too deep. This will drain onto a hill.. not a waterway. This is an example of a proper battier.

Oct 11, 2020
Don't do it
by: Anonymous

Now it has become clear that some fish eggs survive the gut of birds that have eaten them and can be deposited into other waterways. So I would suggest not to anyone in the future who is reading this.

Oct 03, 2020
Gold fish in a large pond
by: Cindy

No joke And an understatement goldfish will take over your large pond !
I released 4-5 lil harmless goldfish in a 1/2 acre pond years ago within a few years the pond was filled with Them every stage every size up to about a foot . Thousands of gold fish .
In early spring sometimes our pond actually would seem to have a golden hue when fish were near water surface .
Really think about this before doing it .
A few lil gold fish soon become thousands !

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