With record sales for this month however, we have been able to free up two large sales tanks and so we decided that the time was right to harvest the last remaining mud pond and drain it down. All of the koi in this pond are of a good quality and we have been looking forward to finding out how they have got on over the winter. They all seemed fine but you never know for sure until you harvest them.
Mark started draining the water out of the pond a couple of days ago and by this morning it was all pretty much at one. end We could see shoals of koi swimming around in the murky water.
Dragging the net through the pond when the water level is so low is a little tricky and requires a slightly different technique but the basic principle is the same as at other times. With the water now at one end of the pond, Mark only needed to drag the net a short way which makes it quite a quick harvest.
Once the net has been dragged round the pond, it is then secured in place with the sides raised to stop any “jumpers”, although at this time of year the water is so cold that the fish aren’t really in the mood for much leaping around! There were quite a few large sansai Chagoi and Soragoi in this pond and so these were removed first to make sure that they did not harm themselves or any other fish whilst caught up in the net.
With all the large koi removed it was time to start taking out the remaining nisai.
The difference in size amongst these koi is quite remarkable in some cases but generally the larger koi, such as this Goromo will be those that have spent longer in heated water the previous winter and which were spawned earlier.
The koi were all in excellent condition with good colours and surprisingly good body shape considering they have spent the winter outside. It’s amazing just how much natural food there is available in a mud pond even during the colder months. We do feed them with pellets too on milder days, so they do pretty well really.
There are a nice mix of koi in this pond including quite a few Shiro Utsuri which have come on well.
We couldn’t see any escapees left in the pond but the remaining water will be drained out over the next couple of days, so we will have to wait and see if we managed to get them all today.