How to Create a Commercial Fish Pond

Written by quinten plummer
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Constructing a commercial fish pond is often challenging and costly. But the completed pond construction can be more than a valuable business asset -- it can be a habitat for wildlife and a recreational area as well. And because the project is no small task, the process of planning, building, licensing and stocking the pond should be handled with care and attention to detail. Careful planning and research should go into the construction of your pond. But to start out, get an idea about the basics of creating the pond.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Plan out your pond. Decide that type of fish you want in your pond -- research the type of freshwater fish that will be able to thrive in your water's climate and the best time of year to stock them. Consult your state's department of natural resources guidelines on stocking fish -- like which fish are banned and which are desired. Decide how large a pond you want -- you'll need at least 1/4 acre to support a substantial amount of fish. Review all relevant state and local law concerning pond construction and liability.

  2. 2

    Scout your land out for an for an area that features a large natural depression and provides some natural foliage. Call out a pond contractor to have the soil tested for its ability to hold water, and if not, find out if plastic liners are available. Get an estimate from the contractor.

  3. 3

    Consult with several pond contractors. Settle on a contractor you feel is well-equipped to complete the job. Your selected contractor should at least have the basic pond-building tools, like an excavator backhoe, bulldozer, etc., and understand the principles of pond-building -- such as dam-building and drainage systems construction. When you're ready to offer a contract to a company, bring your deposit and review the contract with the consultant before signing.

  4. 4

    Apply for your commercial pond license through your state's Department of Natural Resources -- you will need your fishing license to apply for the pond license. After stocking your pond, return to your Department of Natural Resources to initiate a fish health certification.

  5. 5

    Stock your pond with fish. You can get fish and fish eggs from established local commercial fisheries and hatcheries, or through state conservation programs. Check your commercial pond license for the ability to import fish if you desire non-native fish. Review your state's Department of Natural Resources list of intrusive species to be sure that your imports don't fall on the list.

Tips and warnings

  • If you decide to open your pond for swimming, clear out an area around the pond from all hazards and post swimming guidelines and safety gear.

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