(WYTV) – What’s the difference between a pond and a lake? Let’s ponder that question.

You might say a pond is just a big hole with water in it while a lake is much bigger and has moving water.

We’re getting close, but there are other differences beneath the surface.

Both lakes and ponds are inland bodies of freshwater than contain living things. The biggest differences are in how deep they are and their surface area.

Ponds are usually smaller and shallower than lakes.

A pond is pretty much a body of standing water, and it’s shallow enough so sunlight reaches the bottom.

That allows plants to grow at the bottom as well as on the surface, and any waves the pond makes are tiny, so all kinds of plants and animals can thrive there.

The lonely frog on the pond has plenty of company: turtles, fish, snakes, birds and lots of insects.

Lakes are deeper. Sunlight typically can’t reach all the way to the bottom, which means few, if any, plants will grow there.

A pond will have a consistent water temperature, but lake water temperatures can vary because tributaries are flowing into it, creating more waves.

By the way, we find oysters and clams in saltwater. What is their freshwater cousin?


Nearly 300 species of mussels live in the mud and sand at the bottom of streams, rivers, lakes and ponds.