Early September update

The status of the ponds outside:

The bottom pond – this has worked brilliantly! Looks like it’s at least matching the best effort so far on the project. I’ve only achieved a pond looking as full as this just twice during the first 3 summers of my project; the May 15 spawning was the largest harvest, where we harvested roughly 25-30k fry. The second best was May 14 when we harvested around 20k fry. To put these bumper harvests into context – the 3rd best harvest was this summer, with a much lower total of around 5k fry harvested in July. If summer lasts long enough, there’s a good chance we could achieve a harvest of 20k fry or over with this pond. In addition to the prospects for a competitive show prize that a decent harvest provides… it would be a comforting achievement.

link to youtube video: click for vid

The top pond – this hasn’t worked so well. A few days after introducing the hatchlings, we noticed a big reduction in the numbers, suggesting an decreased harvest is likely. Since then, the pond has bounced back, the fish are a bit behind the ones in the bottom pond, but they are growing … and as the days pass by, we’ve seen ever increasing numbers in the pond too. We see fish along all the margins, and also in the centre of the pond. Difficult to estimate the numbers there – but certainly a meaningful number could be harvested still.

If both ponds come in well.. then this would decimate my previous best number of fry at first selection from a single spawning. Still a long way short of the 100k target I set for this year – which I will not achieve… But, it would be a strong move in the right direction.

Still a lot that can go wrong, and ruin the harvest. Currently, we’re having a daily struggle with duck weed on the top pond.

So, after the season began with the worst start possible , we are finally making headway. And, I take some confidence from achieving a state where we have good numbers of fry growing in both fry ponds outside. It’s taken until right at the end of the 4th summer of me breeding koi to finally achieve this goal. Thought I’d get there sooner, but I underestimated how many things can go wrong, and also how much there is to learn about breeding koi and managing natural ponds. Feels good to finally have both ponds full…. And, I can’t wait until next year when the challenge will be to show that I can repeat it.

The fry we are currently rearing in the ponds outside have the potential to make this year more successful than any other year so far. But if something goes wrong, or my estimates are way off, then this could end up as a less than average year.

As always, it’s in the balance….