How to make a trout pond

Updated February 21, 2017

Constructing a personal trout fishing pond is no small undertaking. The job will require heavy earth-moving equipment as well as fencing and other smaller tools. Soil tests, to determine if the pond will leak water, and water quality tests are necessary to make sure the pond is viable and will support trout. Research local council planning and UK Environment Agency regulations before you start to build your pond.

Determine the available water sources and plan the location of the trout pond. The best water source is a flowing spring or stream. Diverting these natural flowing waters may require permission from the local council's environmental department or the Environment Agency. Aerate well water by allowing it to flow over rocks before it reaches the stream.

Excavate the pond. Trout pounds should be at least 4,000 square metres in size, and 25 per cent or more of the pond should be at least 4.5 metres deep. Moving this amount of dirt usually requires the efforts of an earthmoving contractor. Dig the pond with an irregular shoreline, which limits erosion, and an irregular bottom to provide better habitat.

Fence around the pond to limit livestock access to the water. Cattle or horses walking and standing on the shore edge create mud and cloud the water. Fencing is only necessary if the pond is near livestock. Use fencing appropriate for the types of livestock in the pasture.

Stock fish in the pond about a year after the creation of the pond. Test the water to make sure the water quality is high enough to support trout before stocking. The delay allows plankton and other micro-organisms to become established and provide food for the trout. Depending on the configuration of the truck delivering the trout, they are usually netted from tanks or barrels and transferred to the pond. Confirm the fish hatchery is licenced, if required, before ordering fish.


Check the soil of the pond site before beginning construction. Soils high in shale, slate or gravel will seep water and be difficult to keep filled.

Monitor the water temperature of the pond before stocking trout in the waters. Trout prefer waters under 21C. If the pond's waters are warmer than this, it may better support other species of fish.

Stocking rates for trout vary with the size of the fish, but go for around 100 adults for a pond of this size. Fingerlings, or smaller fish, can be stocked at about twice that rate.


Check Environment Agency byelaws for rod angling seasons before fishing for trout in your pond.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy earth-moving equipment
  • Wire fencing
  • Water sampling equipment
  • Trout
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About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.