The first round of spawnings went really well and there were so many Kohaku and Showa fry that we decided to use two nursery ponds for each spawning. By splitting the fry between two ponds, we give them the best possible chance of survival without overstocking the ponds.
Below are some of the pictures from the Kohaku harvest. Normally I am involved in harvesting the fry and so can’t take pictures, but with Fabien, our French student, lending a hand, it meant that I could take a few pictures of the Kohaku harvest.
Here is Mark (Davis) and Mark (Griffiths) starting to drag the net from the far end of the pond to the harvest point. They are very careful to stay close to the edges so that as few fry as possible can escape.
The net is pulled in and the fry are gathered up in it so that none can escape. Then, Mark carefully places them into a bucket ready to be transferred to the transport tank.
This was a really good harvest – particularly considering it was only half of one spawning.
The transport tank is now full of fry and can be taken to the culling point.
On arrival at the culling point, the fry are carefully and quickly transferred to a net suspended in a holding tank.
Mark and I then spent a couple of days selecting through the fry. We look at each and every one and choose those with the best skin quality, body shape and pattern to go back into the pond for another few weeks. We usually keep less than 10% of the fry and when we are finished, those that we do keep fit into one bucket!
The fry are then returned to the pond that they came from.
It took us about two days to select through all of the fry and on Saturday morning (in the pouring rain) we harvested the second pond of Kohaku and spent the weekend selecting through the fry from that pond.
The keepers were put back into the pond of Kohaku that we first harvested and the second pond has now been drained down and more parents sets have been placed in the spawning tanks so that we can fill it with new fry.