The Beginning...

The Original Ki Shusui Project:

           2008 - 2012

This is how the Ki Shusui Project began.


First, the pond was dug, about 150' long x 60' wide, and 12' deep in the deepest end for a total of about 500,000 gallons. See the new pond on the left side of the header.


My first oyagoi, purchased in Fall of 2008, wintered over in rubbermaid tanks with all the requisite filtration and aeration in my basement. I purchased other fish in the spring of '09. See two of the new prospective oyagoi on the right side of the header: Stella, my first shusui and an ayawakaba, both pale from the eight months in the basement tanks. 

Life is about to get much, much better for these good fish.

To the right -------------->>>>>> Original oyagoi as one-year olds (tosai).



After wintering over in the basement tubs, these young koi were introduced to the fresh new pond in May of 2009 and they spawned -- like right away. I entertained myself by watching hundreds or thousands of adorable baby fish and learned a lot along the way.

On the left hand side of this page, the original parents all grown up. These fish were used in a semi-controlled flock spawn, meaning I believed all the genetic ingredients existed to produce ki shusui.

<<<<<<<----Original oyagoi as adults


From top to bottom:


Doitsu lemon hariwake



Doitsu lemon hariwake



Doitsu yellow ogon



Doitsu lemon hariwake 




The project begins.

Below -- The oyagoi in the mud pond. If fish can be happy, they are happy!

Below -- offspring of the resulting flock spawn. Some shusui, ayawakaba and miscellaneous "muttagoi."
Above; one of the original Ogon oyagoi with a juvenile ayawakaba. Below, later harvests, 2010-2012, of two and three year old offspring.

By 2012

 In the end, that is to say, by the 2012 harvest, I had one genuine ki shusui, one very promising shiro ki shusui, meaning a white shusui with ki markings on cheeks and belly and some quite good baby shusui, hariwake, platinum ogons, and kinsui, which is a metallic ki shusui.


I produced many transitional fish that are not true varieties. Some are "mutts." Along with new baby shusuis, midoris, ogons and hariwakes, I have several very cute ayawakabas.


Below, two of my favorite ki shusui offspring from stage one of the ki shusui project. These fish were hatched in 2010. Although I enjoyed seeing the many types of koi that came from this semi-controlled flock spawn, I was not achieving ki shusui in the numbers I hoped I would. Consequently, I rebooted the project completely.

I still have most of the koi pictured on this page. They continue to live a good life in the original project pond that contains 500,000 gallons of spring-fed water and a lot of sunshine. This is not a bad place to be if you're a fish!


My two favorite ki shusui from the original project, both hatched  in 2010.


Pictures from the 2012 harvest of the original ki shusui project pond.

First step in the harvest is to drain the pond of most of the water. We have agridrains that lower the water in 4" steps in this pond, and we use a pump for the other two.

After the water is low enough to walk in, we anchor one end of our seine net and walk the other end in a closing loop through the water. 

This is John Clark of Northeastern Aquatic Fish Hatchery. He's pulling a seine net across the pond, gathering the fish into the seine net. We do this slowly and gently so as no minimize stress for the fish. And we have to pull the net several times in order to capture most of the fish. It's necessary to seine the pond every year becaus the fish load becomes so high it can and will effect the water quality as well as quality of life for the fish.

Here, the first pull has gathered many of the larger fish. In subsequent pulls we will collect smaller fish. We clear the fish from the net by sorting them into baskets. We check the fish to make sure they are healthy. Any wounds are attended to. The fish I wish to keep are returned to their pond, and John takes the remainder to his fish hatchery and to the many mud ponds he has there.

This is the team that does the heavy lifting. From left to right: John Clark, Heather Thomson Wilkinson, Maxine Paetro, Ken Farber and Fred Zimmer.

Not pictured, because she was behind the lens, was Karen Triebel, our fabulous fish whisperer and photographer.

We all enjoyed the harvest. Wink