Max and I were strolling Rycroft Street early this morning and saw a small group of folks standing on the makai side of the street by the Pagoda Restaurant entrance – the famous “floating restaurant” that has been so much a part of the neighborhood for so long.
As we approached we overhead mumbles and imprecations and noticed lots of head shaking. Closer investigation showed that many of the gorgeous koi, both large and small, were dead. So pitiful! Some of the deaf fish were floating and some lay motionless on the shallow bottom. Survivors were clustered by the fresh water outflows, gasping and obviously in distress.
These fish were always a joy to see and over the years Max and I have struck casual friendships with the guys who cared so well for them. Max even got the occasional nibble of piscine food from the fish wranglers as we made our morning constitutional.
What happened? No one had firm information on the cause. Could it have been malicious? Perhaps a system malfunction or maybe a mix up of chemicals? We just don’t know. I hope it was an accident. As bad as that would be it would be a far better thing than to find out that someone deliberately killed the koi.
EDIT – I added this 7/29/13:
I finally got around to asking the Head Fish Wrangler at Pagoda about the kill-off. He said that a contractor charged with doing some repair work on the ponds had incorrectly shut off the pump that puts oxygen into the water and, as a result, the fish asphyxiated. An accident. Looks like a large crop (swarm? bunch? mess? Whole lotta?) of new fry are now swimming beneath the restaurant.