DavidJohn's picture

Toads /Frogs in pond

Observed: 12th January 2011 By: DavidJohn

It seems that these frogs or toads have died in my pond quite recently. Up until a week ago the pond was frozen over but I could see my fish swimming slowly beneath. In the last few days the water has turned from clear to very cloudy & the 2 frogs/toads have appeared on the surface. There is no sign of the fish now. Any ideas as to why this has ocurred ?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


leenestofvipers's picture


From the Froglife website....
In severe winters, when a pond is completely frozen over for a prolonged period of time, various noxious gases which are released from decomposing vegetation / debris within the pond become trapped under the ice. This can 'suffocate' not only the frogs but many other organisms which are down there. This is known as winterkill.
They recommend a pan of hot water on the ice to make a hole for the gases to escape. Worth remembering for next time.

anonymous spotter's picture

Agreed -

although it has been shown that the oxygen level doesn't fall as quickly as might be imagined, it is the build-up of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other gases that can cause these deaths. Maintaining an open area, wherever possible, helps enormously, as pointed out above.
Our pond is quite small, only about .75m deep at best, and it was frozen effectively solid (there is still a huge "ice cube" in it today). In these conditions, plant/invertebrate/fish death is accelerated, and as the thaw begins, the problem can be more serious.

d grimbly's picture

frog id.

Frogs have webbed feet toads have digits