Having a pond in your background makes your household look classy as well as visually pleasing. Not only does it look good, but it also allows you to keep plants, fish, and other animals in it making your backyard a serene place where you can sit back, sip your coffee and relax. Then suddenly you are faced with a question: How deep can a pond be without a fence?

Although there aren’t any federal rules or laws regarding fencing around the ponds like there are for pools, some cities may have some specifications. So make sure you check on it before building a fence around your pond.

Building a fence around a pond isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. There are a few things you have to take care of. Let’s take a look at them below.

How deep can a pond be without a fence: Things you need to know

A fence is not a requirement for a pond, but it does have safety benefits. A fence can help protect the pond from animals like deer and bears who could potentially wander into your backyard and drink from the pond. It also provides an opportunity to add additional landscaping features around your new water feature such as planting flowers or adding stone pathways.

How Deep Can A Pond Be Without A Fence

Pond design instructions

To understand how deep can a pond be without a fence, we have to know what kind of pond we are talking about.

Swimming pools have a lot of rules of regulations about fences compared to ponds. That’s why you won’t see any troublesome laws regarding pond fences. But, if you want to build a pond, I’d suggest that the water level be at least 18 inches deep.

In some places, you need fences around ponds that are 30 cm deep.

You have to build a fence if your pond is for swimming or for recreational use. But if it’s for ornamental use or is a fish pond, you don’t have to build a fence according to city rules. Although, if you want to protect your fish from predators, I suggest you build one regardless.


Get a permit for the pond if it’s needed. If that is the case, you will require an engineer to design your pond.

The best case for you would be if no permit is required, then you can design it with all the freedom in the world.

Fence specifications

Now, we come to the fence. There is some nitpicking needed to do.

Apart from the depth, you also have to take care of the surroundings as well before building a fence. You have to know about what the dimensions of the fence are, how to place them and follow the safety measurements.

When you build a fence, it should be of minimum 4-5 feet high, with some places even requiring you to build one as tall as 6 feet. You should also keep an eye on the gap as well. Make it so that if an object is more than 4 inches wide, it can’t pass through the fence.

Some examples of such objects are your hands or feet. You should build it in such a way that people are discouraged from climbing over it because of its structure. As it is made to mainly keep children and terrestrial predators out, the bottom of the fence should be less than 2 inches from the ground.

If you have a gate in place, make sure it’s at least 5 feet high with some sort of a closing mechanism. You can use either a spring or a lock to ensure the door always closes whenever someone uses it.

Fence Materials: What should you choose

While building a fence, you also have to take a good look at the materials you want to use. Just building a fence isn’t enough, you have to make it efficient, strong, sustainable and pleasing to the eye.

There is a myriad of options you can choose from in terms of building materials for a fence. You can choose any one of wood, picket, vinyl, chain link, or even try building an electric fence. All of them have some sort of unique advantage while also having some drawbacks as well.

The main objective of a fence is to provide security to your pond while also not being an eyesore. You have to strike a balance between these two features.

For example, chain link fences are the hardest to climb, and so provide excellent security to your pond, but on the other hand, you can hardly see your pond through it.

Again, you can have an unobstructed view of your pond if you install clear acrylic panels, but they aren’t the sturdiest of the materials. You can also use wood or vinyl, but they can’t guarantee an unimpeded view of your pond, affecting the aestheticism of the pond.

Keep your fence away from large structures or boulders as children or animals can climb over them and then inside your fence, making it counterproductive to have a fence.

Rules regarding building your pond

Now you know all about fences and the depth of the pond. But how should you build the pond in the first place? Should you do it yourself or should you ask for someone’s advice?

In my opinion, It is better to ask someone for advice when you are building a pond. The best choice for this is your neighbors as they’ll be the ones who will be affected the most if something goes wrong with your pond.

After consulting with them and making sure they are okay with your plans, you must contact your local authority, because there might be some rules and regulations regarding pond and fence building you might not know about. If you don’t contact them and there are some rules which exist which you know nothing about, it will create unnecessary hassle which is the last thing you want.

Also, make sure to reach out to a conservation manager of your local government to measure the impact of your pond. You don’t want to cut any gas or water lines while digging your pond.

As mentioned earlier, depending on the place you live, you might need to get a permit for digging a pond and building a fence around it. The rules of building a pond changes according to the state you live in. For example, the state of Idaho has the following rules to follow:

  1. The entire pond has to be within your property
  2. You must have a Private Fish Pond Permit which ensures that the owner of the pond has met the requirements necessary for stocking fish (or bullfrog, depending on what you want to stock your pond with). This permit also allows the IDFG to monitor your pond for any fish that may harm the local wild fish population and prevent their introduction. You must renew the license every 5 years.
  3. You must screen the point where (if it happens at all) the river water mixes with pond water to separate wild and introduced fish populations.
  4. They permit fish that are from a list of particular hatcheries and of some already approved species.
  5. The time of you stocking your fish and the place where you got them from has to be put into records. Most of the time, a record of up to 5 years is asked if necessary.

Also, while using heavy machinery, first check to make sure that excavation is considered an engineering option in your community. Otherwise, you need to get permits of another kind to use these machines.

Additional Read: Pond depth for different types of ponds

final words

Although building a fence around a pond sounds very easy and doable as it has no federal laws regarding this, choosing the wrong option in any of the above-mentioned steps may cause you, your neighbors, and your environment unnecessary trouble.

So knowing how deep can a pond be without a fence, what you need to do to build such a pond and a fence when you need it, is a must while undertaking this task. Done properly, a properly fenced pond can be the source of natural aesthetics and a place for sport fishing for the whole community.

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