Unsustainable koi to be removed from Volunteer Park ponds


Normally, it’s the baby ducks getting the boot (Image: CHS)

After surviving marauding herons and countless encounters with the weird things people throw in their ponds, the koi of Volunteer Park cannot survive their own success. According to a statement sent out by Seattle Parks, the fish will be permanently removed from the two ponds above the Volunteer Park reservoir because of the ongoing costs of maintenance. Parks says the fish moving a process planned to begin Wednesday:

A new home for the koi

For the past seven years, our ponds have been the home for beautiful koi fish. During this time, we have discovered that these beautifully refurbished ponds are not the best environment for the koi. In addition to at least one act vandalism that destroyed the koi, waterfowl swim in the ponds and their droppings have fouled the water, resulting in fish parasites and diseases that have sickened and killed our koi.

Seattle Parks and Recreation staff have worked to maintain water quality and keep the population healthy. In recent years, as the koi population has increased, staff must more frequently flush fresh water through the system and add a chemical product to keep the fish alive. This is neither sustainable nor cost effective.

We want a secure, clean home for the koi.

The Washington Koi Association is going to help us move the fish into quarantine for the winter. In the spring, they will help distribute the koi to good homes with members of the Washington Koi Association.

The 30 koi are scheduled to be moved on Wednesday, October 9. Parks staff will be on hand to talk with park visitors and assist with the transport.
For more information, please contact Barbara DeCaro, Seattle Parks and Recreation, 206-615-1660.

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14 thoughts on “Unsustainable koi to be removed from Volunteer Park ponds

    • I was just thinking the same thing but I think maybe its because it is a natural pond setting with underwater plants (not in pots) and a more natural filtering system

    • And presumably people aren’t throwing crap in the water in the Japanese Garden. How vexing it is to have a beautiful thing ruined by the thoughtless actions of bozos.

    • Same here – they were nice to look at but koi are long-lived and relatively intelligent fish, and need an environment that can support them properly.

  1. Every great Japanese Garden has Koi Swimming, Living and Sustaining in ponds in similar conditions! What is the Arboretum lacking when others have success? Why can’t we be great also?

  2. I don’t usually yell at people but this summer I shouted at a large mom who was letting her kid throw bread into the koi pond. They were standing right next to the sign that said not to do that. I will miss the koi a lot, I loved to stand and watch them in their ponds, but if removing them keeps them safe, I’m for it.

  3. Not sure how we’re supposed to reconcile “waterfowl swim in the ponds and their droppings have fouled the water, resulting in fish parasites and diseases that have sickened and killed our koi” with “in recent years, as the koi population has increased.” Seems to me that koi survive pretty well in less than optimal water conditions, judging by the koi that have lived for years in my own tiny backyard pond.

  4. Pingback: CHS Pics | Moving day for the Volunteer Park koi | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle