With this second harvest we had more small ones than we’ve ever had before and it meant that we had a pond where some of the fish were up to four inches in length and others had only just made it to an inch! Of course, the smaller ones are just snacked on by their bigger siblings, so we have to separate them if we want any of them to survive.
This time round, we decided that as there were so many smaller ones, we would put them into a separate pond and see how they get on. Without the competition from the larger fish, they should, in theory, do much better. An interesting exercise! Either way, it means that we will have Chagoi and Ochiba available at different sizes later in the season – the smaller ones will mix in very nicely with the later spawnings that we did.
Andy and Stuart came to give us a hand with the harvest and helped with the selection of the bigger fish. It was important to get the bigger ones out of the net before grading the small ones because the big guys don’t stop eating just because they’ve been caught in a net! The big keepers were put back into the mud pond to carry on growing the same day and the bigger ones we decided not to keep went into a sales tank.
Some of the keepers, the Ochiba pattern is already well developed on some.
We ended up selecting through the several thousand small ones a couple of days later on the Saturday with about 1000 going out into a separate mud pond to grow on and the remainder being collected by a customer on Sunday.
Thanks to Andy and Stuart for giving us a hand and for your company on what was another rather damp day. They decided to take the scenic route up the M4 for some strange reason but I’ll leave Andy and Stuart to explain that one!!