Pre winter selection on the June 16 spawning

So the late season flurry of harvests and selections came to an end today, with the final selection of the June 16 spawning before the winter grow on period.

These are the fry that came from 'Sharkey' ; our momotaro kohaku female. a reminder of the story so far... the spawning at the end of June went really well, and we tried growing on fry in both outdoor ponds through July - but that stage of the rearing process did not go well. we harvested only around 5k fry for first selection out of both ponds, and there were one or two thousand more that we reared artificially indoors, that although came from the same spawning, were much further behind in terms of development. the keep rate at first selection was phenomenal, and went some way to rectifying the poor volume at first harvest.

Today, I went through around 350 fish, and Iwas pretty tough during the selections. I kept just 122 and have selected 238 to move on.

Considering the small harvest at first selection, I can't be too unhappy that I've ended up a few months later finding 122 fish to grow on over the winter. Out of that lot, there are only a few that I think could feature at a show for me next year... or the subsequent years. And, it's the subsequent years of showing that I am hopeful for from this parent set. some of the bodies are strong, and i'm very happy with the backbone shapes on many of them.

it's always a tough process to go through at this stage of the year, selecting so many koi to let go. many of them have a stand out feature - whether it's body, size or colour. but if the pattern's not balanced.. there's only so far I can take them. I've kept a few of the lighter red / orange coloured kohaku's for development interest - it's a continuation of the experiment started at the last selection point. with these lighter coloured fish - you can still differentiate between the ones with more homogenous and thicker / deeper colour depth; and these are the ones I kept if the pattern was balanced enough...

when I look back to a video I took of the 2016 south of england show baby champion when it was a few inches long... it's obvious that was going to be a great fish. the body and quality was great even at that size. when I consider whether any of the june 16 spawning babies look as good as that... I'm struggling. there are one or two that might be interesting and I've grouped those together in a short video here.

the body shapes are different from the babies I get from the okawa female, and I'm putting that down to different genetics. out of the two larger kohaku's in the video - the one with less red... this one I think has the best quality - skin and colour, but the pattern is a little too much over to one side. I'm just going to have to keep my fingers crossed that the little hi that there is on the fish's left hand side expands a little. the other large kohaku in the video has a much better balanced pattern, and is a close second in terms of the skin and colour. there are a few stray gin rin scales that worry me a little, but not much I can do about that, except hope that fade.

not sure what it is about this year and tancho... we have a few more alright ones in this spawning!

size wise, the largest of the keepers (not in this video of the best few), is pushing 8 inches / 20cm. Growth a long way behind my best... but as mentioned in the last few months, I've not prioritised growth so far this year. from this point forwards... now I'm down to my best 100 or so from this spawning and the one I selected through yesterday - I am placing more emphasis on growth, for the next few months.

the other odd thing about today's selection , was just how many of the kohaku's had a window in their pattern. remember... it's the same set of males that I used with my okawa 2 step female, that I put with sharkey. and yet, I almost never spot a kohaku with a window in the pattern on the babies from the okawa female, but with sharkey, there were quite a few with windows. strange... something I will reflect on in the future as I gain more experience with kohaku parent crosses.

Here's a video with a selection of the other keepers from today.

And some pictures of some of the keepers:

And these are the koi that we selected out:

the scores on the doors: