Regulation of size is one of the fundamental problems in biology. One general strategy has been to identify molecules required for cell growth and cell proliferation within an organ. This has been particularly revealing, identifying cell-autonomous pathways involved in cell growth, survival and proliferation. In order to identify pathways regulating overall limb growth and morphology, experiments have evaluated gene expression, transplanted and removed tissues, and knocked out genes. This work has provided a vast amount of information identifying molecular mechanisms regulating limb axis formation, outgrowth, and pattern formation. Using the zebrafish fin, genetic, cellular and molecular strategies have also been employed to follow both normal patterns of fin growth and growth in fin mutants. This review will focus on cellular and molecular regulation of the outgrowth and patterning of the zebrafish caudal fin during regeneration, and will emphasize similarities to other systems. Future perspectives describe opportunities using the zebrafish fin to reveal mechanisms underlying the regulation of final size.