Balancing the number of stem cells and their progeny is crucial for tissue development and repair. Here we examine how muscle stem/precursor cell (MPC) numbers are tightly regulated during zebrafish somitic muscle development. MPCs expressing Pax7 are initially located in the dermomyotome (DM) external cell layer, adopt a highly stereotypical distribution and thereafter a proportion of MPCs migrate into the myotome. Regional variations in the proliferation and terminal differentiation of MPCs contribute to growth of the myotome. To probe the robustness of spatiotemporal regulation of MPCs, we compared the behaviour of wild type (wt) MPCs with those in mutant zebrafish that lack the muscle regulatory factor Myod. Myodfh261 mutants form one third fewer multinucleate fast muscle fibres than wt and show a significant expansion of the Pax7+ MPC population in the DM. Subsequently, myodfh261 mutant fibres generate more cytoplasm per nucleus, leading to recovery of muscle bulk. In addition, relative to wt siblings, there is an increased number of MPCs in myodfh261 mutants and these migrate prematurely into the myotome, differentiate and contribute to the hypertrophy of existing fibres. Thus, homeostatic reduction of the excess MPCs returns their number to normal levels, but fibre numbers remain low. The GSK3 antagonist BIO prevents MPC migration into the deep myotome, suggesting that canonical Wnt pathway activation maintains the DM in zebrafish, as in amniotes. BIO does not, however, block recovery of the myodfh261 mutant myotome, indicating that homeostasis acts on fibre intrinsic growth to maintain muscle bulk. The findings suggest the existence of a critical window for early fast fibre formation followed by a period in which homeostatic mechanisms regulate myotome growth by controlling fibre size.