How Much Does It Cost to Build a Fishing Pond?

If you’ve ever dreamed of casting a line from your front porch, consider building a fishing pond. Building a pond in your backyard will bring you close to nature and increase the value of your property. 

But how much does it cost to build a fishing pond? Building a standard fishing pond ranges from $4,500 to $30,000. Many factors affect how much a fishing pond costs. The pond’s size, depth, shape, and the type of fish you want will influence the cost. A koi pond cost ranges from $5,000 to $30,000 but can easily reach $50,000.

Read on to learn what factors affect the price of building a fishing pond. This article will also tell you what things to consider when making a fish pond on your property. 

Factors that Affect the Cost of Building a Fishing Pond

Factors that Affect the Cost of Building a Fishing Pond

Most standard fishing ponds cost between $4,500 and $30,000. But many factors can increase the price of a fishing pond. 

How much will a fishing pond costs per square foot depends on a variety of factors, including:


Location is one of the major factors that influence how much will be digging a fishing pond costs per acre. Choose a clear area without boulders, vegetation, or any other obstacles. 

Land clearing the area in preparation for digging is an additional cost that will increase the final price of the fish pond. The actual cost of land clearing will depend on how much vegetation should be removed and whether it needs to be hand removed or not.

When choosing the location for a fishing pond, ensure that heavy machinery can access the pond site. Digging a pond by hand is time-consuming and costs more per square foot than using an earth-mover. 

Soil Type

Soil type is another factor to consider when digging a fish pond. If you plan to make a pond in an area with clay-like soil, rocky terrain, or many big trees, expect to spend between $200 and $1,200 or more on the project. 

Digging a pond in a clear area without much vegetation and with loose soil is much easier and will cost less per square foot.


The size of a fishing pond is an essential factor to consider. Typically, small fish ponds cost less than large fishing ponds. However, building a large-scale farm pond tends to cost less per square foot than digging a small fish pond. 

Not only do bigger fishing ponds cover a larger surface area, but they also tend to be deeper. If you decide to make a big fishing pond that requires taking more earth and more digging, you might receive a cubic yard quote.


Digging dirt for a small fish pond usually costs between $2.50 and $7.15 per square foot. Excavating an area for a larger pond typically costs $1.50 to 3.50$ per cubic yard. 

Hourly excavators’ rates range from $120 to $150 and usually include land grading. If land grading isn’t included in the hourly rate, expect to pay an average of $2,000 for leveling the surface.

Things You Need to Consider When Building a Fishing Pond

A few features better enhance the value of a property than a pond. A correctly built fishing pond will create a great home for fish and be ideal for leisure or family fishing. 

Careful pre-project planning will reduce the cost of repairs and long-term maintenance and ensure high-quality construction works. Here’s what you need to consider when digging a pond on your property:


Although agricultural ponds are exempt from many permits, you’ll likely need some permits to build a fishing pond, especially if the pond is close to a waterway. Contact the local Natural Resource Conservation Service to see if you need any permits. 

A local Agricultural Extension Agency can help assess your soil and determine whether it’s suitable for building a fishing pond. 

Water Source

The water source for your new fishing pond can be surface runoff, seep or spring, natural water table, or a combination of these water sources. Pumping water into a fishing pond can be expensive and affect the flow of wells nearby.


Fishing ponds can be made in any geometric shape, including rectangle, ellipse, or circle. Another option is to create a natural shape by fitting the pond’s contours into the natural landscape. 

Build a pond to retain the existing trees and shrubs near or along the shoreline. The lush vegetation provides shade during the summer, casts a reflection on the water, and blends the artificial pond into the natural landscape.


After the fishing pond is built, plan a budget for regular maintenance. To keep your fish pond in excellent condition, plan for periodic mowing, vegetation control, waterline debris removal, restocking of the fish, and dock repairments. 

Check your fishing pond regularly for any signs of leaks or seepage. Keep in mind that even with constant water flow from springs and seeps, the pond’s water levels won’t remain constant because water evaporates.


The most common stocking combination includes largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish. The number of fish you’ll have in your fishing pond will depend on the pond’s size. 

Contact your state’s wildlife and fish agency for information on ordering hatchlings. To allow hatchlings to develop and reach sexual maturity properly, you shouldn’t fish in your pond for the first year. 


Building a fishing pond on your property will provide a steady supply of fresh fish and years of recreational fishing. Although building a fish pond is a substantial upfront investment and can be time-consuming, it’s also gratifying.

Building a standard fishing pond can cost up to $30,000, depending on the type of soil, the size of the pond, and the location you want to dig the pond in. Depending on the type of fish you choose to stock in the pond, you may have additional expenses such as a heating system, liner, and chemicals to maintain the pond.