Riddle Me This: Where Did The Fish Come From?

by Brad Isaac on October 6, 2007

Here’s a weekend puzzle for you. Do you know the answer? Post it below if you know.

A man buys 50 acres of land. He builds a modest house and a barn on the land.

A year later, he decides one dip in the land could be grated and filled with water to form a small pond. So he hires a crew to bring out tractors and dig out the pit into a nice pond. It’s late in the summer when they finish their digging and filling it with water.

The county extension office assures the man that even though the water is uninhabitable now, it will “settle” by spring, just in time for him to stock it with fish.

The man dreams of stocking the pond in the spring with bass and catfish for fishing in the next years. Ahhh.. the relaxing days of lazily fishing by the side of the new pond.

pondWinter comes and goes. The following spring, the man is walking along the edge of the pond when he sees what looks to be a small minnow darting in and out from under a leaf floating on the top of the water. The man rubbed his eyes wondering if he was seeing things.

He hadn’t had a chance to stock the pond. Nobody had wandered onto his land over the winter and dumped fish into the pond. There were no nearby creeks flowing into the pond since he had dug it himself, so he knew a fish could not have arrived via stream.

He thought he must have seen a frog or large tadpole because frogs seek out ponds, rivers and lakes.

Suddenly, he noticed not 1, but 4, then 5 minnows schooling near the edge. How could it be? He wondered how in the world those fish could have simply “grown” there.

Eventually, he talked with someone who knew how the fish mysteriously made their way to the new pond. Do you know the answer?

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Tim October 6, 2007 at 11:15 pm

After a quick googling, I came up with these guesses:

1. Fish eggs clung to the feet of a wading bird like a heron or a mammal’s fur, and then those eggs were deposited in the pond when that animal moved.
2. A predator (heron, raccoon, or whatever) dropped a live fish into the pond.

Chris Bell October 7, 2007 at 2:40 am

That dip in the land was originally a pond but there had been a drought in the area for several years so the pond dried up and became indistinguishable from the rest of the land. The minnow eggs left in the dried-up pond hatched when it was filled up with water.

Hrish October 8, 2007 at 8:22 am

Minnows are small, and they were caught up in a furious storm and rained back on the pond. Just a wild guess :D

Ronald October 8, 2007 at 10:18 am

The person he talked to, was also dreaming about fishing by the pond, and filled the pond with the five minnows.

Brad Isaac October 9, 2007 at 9:43 pm

Ok, the answer is what Tim found curses to Google! the fish eggs clung to the feet and legs of wading birds and were transferred to the new pond when the birds landed there.

B. Riley October 16, 2007 at 12:02 pm

But how do the eggs cling to the feet without opposable thumbs? ;-)

Brad Isaac October 16, 2007 at 1:50 pm

>>But how do the eggs cling to the feet without opposable thumbs?<<<

They use duct tape of course!

G Simkins December 13, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Isn’t it possible that the minnows were actually frogs in a tadpole state? If it were Spring, how exactly would the man have known the difference? I say it was frogs, man.

Brad Isaac December 13, 2007 at 9:59 pm

… or sea monkeys. Nobody knows where they come from.

Flyfishing Knots June 18, 2008 at 8:51 am

Agree with G. Simpkins… I guess it’s a frog also.

Flyfishing Knotss last blog post..Choosing Fly Fishing Tackle To Match Fishing Tri

Anna August 25, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Here is a better one…. When it rains heavily, and large puddles are remain, minnows appear out of no where within about 10 minutes….So where do THEY come from? ps…. no wind or birds are required…. :)

Brad Isaac August 25, 2008 at 9:23 pm

just a guess, but fish eggs left behind due to drought? The water rejuvenates them

Darrel April 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm

the answer to this is easy, fish eggs and minnows come from GOD

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