Pond Nets and Pond Critters

The pond is a fascinating community where many insects, amphibians, and reptiles live. The pond habitat is filled with life, from tiny insects to big bull frogs. Have you ever wondered what lives in a pond?

Pond nets at Lynden are used to catch frogs, tadpoles, turtles, and insects.

Most visitors prefer to catch frogs and turtles, but it’s important to note that there is much more to discover in the pond. As you search for critters, take time to stop, look, and listen. Most of the critters you will find are as tiny as your thumbnail–or smaller! So look closely.

Steps for using the pond nets and exploring the pond habitat:

  1. Check out a pond net from the front desk.
  2. Find a spot near the pond. Become a pond explorer: move as quietly as possible so you don’t startle any critters.
  3. If you see a frog or other critter that you are interested in on the ground or in the water, quickly place your net over the frog or critter.
  4. Pull the net towards you, and clasp the net, closing off the opening so the frog or critter won’t escape.
  5. Examine your critter.
  6. Identify your catch using the sheet attached.
  7. Return the catch. Return all critters to the pond before you leave. Remember, the pond is their home.
  8. Once you’re finished using the nets, clean them up by removing all algae and debris by swishing in the pond and shaking. Return your net to the front desk.

How to Hold a Frog

To hold a frog, make sure your hands are clean (no mosquito repellent, perfume or sunblock) before touching the frog. You can wash your hands with pond water. Firmly wrap your hands around the frog’s back legs and rub its belly to calm it. Don’t hold a frog by one leg: it will kick and twist. Pour some pond water over the frog so it stays nice and moist.

Pond Critters ID Sheet
The water critters that you find in the pond are clues to the health of that water ecosystem.

Retrieved from: THIS LAKE ALIVE! An Interdisciplinary Handbook for Teaching and Learning about the Lake Champlain Basin.