A nursery pond is one of the first stages fish go through when maturing in aquaculture, where fry develop into 3 to 4 inch fingerlings. This is where baby fish grow their scales and fins that will allow them to compete with more mature fish later on. In a nursury pond, food is smaller so that smaller fry are able to eat it. The conditions of the water are also able to be closely monitored, as any stress on the young fish can lead to widespread population loss.
Nursery ponds can come in excavated reservoirs, rubber or concrete ponds, fiberglass tanks, or mesh pens within a larger body of water. Each of these designs have different advantages, however all ensure an isolated and safe place for vulnerable fish to escape predators and mature.