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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