Pond versus Lake

I’m curious if there is a geological distinction between a pond and a lake or if it’s merely a naming issue. I’ve recently canoed on two “ponds” that are larger than some “lakes” that I’ve been on.

Check this out from dictionary.com

My guess that a lake is fed by a river and a pond is fed by a creek or stream.


Well, for example, bow lakes aren’t fed by anything, because if they were, they wouldn’t be bow lakes.

A bow lake is a curve of a river broken off…not fed by anything, yet it is a lake.

Our local park district distinguishes between ponds and lakes by describing a lake as a body of water that is generally too deep to support surface-blooming plants. (Obviously excluding from consideration those shallow sections near shore that have reeds and lily pads–I would guess they are talking about only the major central section.)

gazes out at Lake Superior

They’re all ponds, 'xept that one.

Some ponds are fed only by rainwater, I think.

I couldn’t believe the first time that I saw Walden Pond. It looked like a lake to me!

I always thought that ponds are man made and lakes are natural formations, but ICBW.

Many lakes (in fact, almost all of the thousand or so in Texas) are man made.

If it freezes and kids can skate on it and play hockey on it, then dammit, it’s always a pond at that point…albeit a frozen one.

So you’d call Lake Michigan a pond??

I think the distintion is arbitrary ponds are generally smaller than lakes, but thats about it.

(Same think goes for creeks vs. rivers)


It’s a joke.

Joke or not, anything smaller than Lake St. Clair is a pond, and even Lake St. Clair’s status is debatable. It’s shallow, piss warm, mucky, and full of seaweed. Sounds an aweful lot like a pond to me. Even the inland “lakes” all seem like icky, nasty ponds.

I guess it’s not hard to tell I grew up on Lake Huron. :slight_smile:

In common usage, there’s not much real difference. Most people regard a pond merely as a small lake.

But I’ve heard from other sources that, strictly speaking, a pond is a body of water that has no river or stream carrying water out of it, while a lake does HAVE such an outlet. That’s why a pond typically has a much shorter life. Without a stream or river to carry out silt, a pond is eventually filled up by silt and sediment, and no longer holds water.

Since a lake has a river/stream to drain of silt and sediment, it remains filled with water much longer.

So, is that body of water near Jerusalem called the Dead Pond? :sunglasses:

Pond vs. Lake?

Is the lake prepared?