Stardew Valley's fish ponds should be your next obsession


They're more involved than you might think

This morning, my eyes wanted to stay permanently shut. I stayed up late playing Stardew Valley again, this time thanks to version 1.4, a wide-reaching update that breathes new life into the game. My main save file isn't even on PC I've migrated to Switch but I couldn't wait to become a fish farmer.

Some people like to experience everything Stardew Valley has to offer, taking each day as it comes and never letting a letter go unanswered. Me? I find something I'm into, make that my goal, and obsess over it. I'm such a one-track-mind player that I've still, to this day, barely interacted with the townsfolk.

My latest obsession is fishing-related, and it's one I think you should explore too: fish ponds.

Robin can build a fish pond from the Carpenter's Shop

On the surface, fish ponds seem like a neat little addition in which you build a pond for 5,000g, 200 stone, 5 seaweed, and 5 green algae and then fill it with your catch of the day. But that's just the beginning, friends. This rabbit hole is deep. Your fish will eventually start offering you quests.

In short: each species has its own "spawn frequency," and once the population caps, you'll see an exclamation point pop up in your pond indicating that you need to go on a supply run. A carp, for instance, might want a cave carrot, whereas a sturgeon could crave a diamond. Toss the item in the murky waters, and you'll increase the fish cap for that pond. More fish means more rewards.

If you're wondering where to even start with this, I'd recommend the blobfish, lava eel, sturgeon (for caviar), void salmon, super cucumber, or tiger trout. Folks have already crunched the numbers.

I have two ponds so far, both of which were chosen for their (exceedingly) rare chance of outputting items I want beyond the usual roe. My lava eel can drop magma geodes, while my super cucumber can produce iridium ore. Is it very likely? No, not at all. We're talking a five percent chance here. But I did it!

The Stardew Valley fish pond population cap is ten

What else should you know before getting started?

  • You can place a wood sign directly on the pond and it'll auto-fill the species picture.
  • You can catch fish out of ponds without needing to do the pesky fishing mini-game, and the pond's stock will automatically replenish over time, but they'll be "regular" quality.
  • You can also have ponds with coral, sea urchins, and such – no more trips to the beach.
  • You can't use legendary fish in ponds.

The actual rewards aren't necessarily the best or the most efficient use of your farm, but the act of building and upgrading fish ponds is one of my new favorite activities in Stardew Valley – 1.4 or otherwise. It's such a fun, all-encompassing goal. These fish will send you all over the place.

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Jordan Devore
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Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more + disclosures



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