Attention! Some email programs display only the first part of the newsletter. Make sure to click on "View entire message" at the bottom of the page, or CLICK HERE to view the newsletter in your browser.

Koi Club of San Diego

Volume 23 Issue 4



April 2023


by Lenore Wade

The most important reminder that I can pass on is our April Meeting is Sunday April 2nd. That is the first Sunday of the month. (The May meeting will also be on the first Sunday, May 7th.)

This past Sunday, the rain stopped long enough to give us a beautiful day with sunshine for our monthly meeting. It was here at my house. I enjoy having members visit my pond, but after 7 years, it is getting rather old. Nothing has changed, except for a few fish. We need more members to open their homes to welcome visitors. No one comes to inspect your home, or check out your grass.

They only want to see your pond and your special fish. Please think about inviting us.

Our April meeting is at the home of new members in the Poway area. Robert and Wei Schmidt will welcome you to see their pond that is only one year old.

Matt and Jill Rhoades made a unique “Jeopardy” styled game for us to play at the meeting. All five categories were about “koi”. The questions were tricky, clever, humorous, and challenging. Everyone at the meeting got involved, either as an official contestant or one of the many 

kibitzers. Many thanks to them for their efforts.

Meetings are meant to be educational and informative for the members. Please let us know if you have an idea for a program or have questions you want answered. Ben from Laguna Koi will be the guest speaker at the May meeting which will be held at the home of another new member, Jeff Kane, who lives in Carlsbad.

Don’t forget, that for fun, you can visit the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park for FREE on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Weather permitting, I go there from 10 to 12 to answer questions and tell people about the koi.

Hopefully, in May when the weather and the pond water are warmer the club will sponsor a fish round-up day. There are twenty plus black fish that are from an accidental spawning that need to be relocated to the lower pond. Remember, “many hands make light work!”

Because of the rainy weather, we had to cancel the planned February date to clean out the storage shed in Escondido. On Sunday, March 26th at 9:00am we will again attempt to do the job. If you are willing and able to help, please call me at 619-442-0202 or send a message ( and I will give you the address.

Hope to see you on April 2nd.  Potluck lunch starts at 12:00 and the meeting begins at 1:00.


We are bringing in "Classifieds" section to the Newsletter!

Do you have any pond related items you don't need? Post them in our Classifieds section. 

Ad prices are $3 for Members and $30 for Non-Members.

Contact Julia at

April Koi Club of San Diego Meeting

April 2nd, 2023

Social hour - 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm

Meeting begins at 1 pm

Potluck, bring your own chair

If you have any koi related issues or questions, bring them to the meeting! 


Robert Schmidt and Weibin Wang

15573 Via La Ventana

San Diego, CA 92131






As announced at our August meeting, we are looking for a member who can help us at the Japanese Friendship Garden on Monday mornings around 8:00am. Before there was a koi pond in the upper Garden area there was grass. That’s all. We suggested for years that we would take care of the filter system if they would build a koi pond which would become the central jewel to the Garden (there was no canyon Garden at the time). Norm Meck of our club designed the pond (with a few modifications) and Voila! we have a koi pond. We have been taking care of and cleaning the filter system since 1999 really as a community service to Balboa Park. We would appreciate any help even if you can’t commit to every Monday. Being able to lift 35-40 pounds is necessary to open each section of the deck where the filter is located. AND you get to pick the brain of our KHA/Show Entrant Chairman, Koi Jack, who has been overseeing the fishes health since 2005 along with our Membership Chairman/Show Vendor Chairman, Greg Ruth.
If interested, call me and leave a message at 619-200-4146 and/or email me at

Linda Pluth
Japanese Friendship Garden Liaison

Koi Club of San Diego Ponder Profile

by Lenore Wade, photography by Bill Newell

Robert Schmidt and Weibin Wang

Robert and Weibin Schmidt are new members of the Koi Club, but they are opening their home to us for the April 2nd meeting. Robert who describes himself as a robotic engineer and inventor built the pond last year. You will notice that many things about his pond are not familiar to most of us and that is because he has used his skills to make a unique creation. There are not many fish, and none larger than about twelve inches. Lots of tiny four-inch koi speed around the pond avoiding the bigger fish.

Robert spent much of his early life in Poway, before the family moved to Florida while he was a teenager. There he helped his father build boats while going to college.

Weiben, also known as Wei, or with the Americanized name Kate, was born and raised in Beijing, China. Her parents and two brothers still live there. Before the pandemic, she made annual trips to visit her family, and over the years of their marriage, her family has also visited them here.

Robert worked in finance in New York at the same time that Wei came to the city to study business at the university. As single parents, they met at the day-care where their two children stayed during the day.

The tragedy of 9-11 forced them to leave New York and they moved west, settling in an area that was familiar to Robert. Their family grew with the birth of the third son and a daughter. All four of the off-spring still live at home. The two youngest are high school students.

Although their home purchased in 2008, is considered as part of San Diego (15573 Via La Ventana, San Diego, CA 92131), it is very close to Poway. The house has a large yard with a pool and overlooks a beautiful green canyon that partially belongs to the eastern part of Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.

There are many projects going on in the yard. Wei is learning to enjoy gardening. There are many fruit trees, and above ground vegetable gardens. Problems following heart surgery have limited Robert’s ability to do much of the work he used to enjoy.

He has been an avid surfer, skateboarder, hiker, and both enjoy paddle boarding.  He has also written 14 books and holds 7 patents for his inventions.




Wednesday, April 12th

at 7:00 pm

(earlier if you are ordering food)


2691 Navajo Road

El Cajon, CA 92020 

View in Google Maps


Hal Groeneboer
Jack & Jeanne Story
Jack Story Jr. & Carrie Story
Beverly & Scott Sylvester


Jefferey Duncan

Dick & Bonita Chamberlin
Thom Fuller
Nancy Keenan
Matt & Jill Rhoades
Maritia & Tom Walper
Scotty & Erica Yee


by "Koi Jack" Chapman

Koi Pond Spawn

Sometimes a koi event occurs and I think I should do an article around the subject matter and it’s that time of year for koi spawning.  I had my second pond spawning now 8 years ago and wrote about it then and decided to run it again now with a couple changes as we are now in spawning season for most local ponds.  So, the last natural spawning in my pond (YUK) was due in part to an error on my part that I’ll save as closing remarks.  After your first pond spawning most koi hobbyists would prefer that it not ever happen again, me included, as this was only the second time for me over the past 18 years.

General info around spawning would include:

  • 1.    Males reach sexual maturity at age two and females at age three.
  • 2.   I’ve seen spawning happen locally from February (only at a past KCSD koi show) to July.  Most spawning’s occur April to June.  
  • 3.   The males develop small raised bumps on their heads, gill plates and the first ray of their pectoral fins which can often (but not always) be seen but felt when rubbed with your finger.
  • 4.   The females will present with visible distended abdomens and you will see an enlarged and distended genital papilla.  They also can be observed doing what is called nesting behavior which consist of cleaning a spot on the side of your pond or spending time in and around any plant material you have in your pond.
  • 5.   Most spawning events happen very early in the AM.  You wake up and your pond will have a funny fishy smell and you may see areas of bubbles and cloudy water. 
  • 6.   You may observe males the night before a spawning chasing after egg-laden females and pushing their noses/side of their heads against the female’s abdomen above the genital papilla.  If only one male is involved, he will push the female into the side of your pond.  Two or more males will present on each side of the female and at the same time (or close to) push against the female.  We call this the koi mating dance and it gets serious when you observe the males use their tail muscle against the female’s body where they had been pressing there heads earlier.  Yes, the females take a beating during spawning and some private time in an isolation/quarantine tank is appropriate soon after spawning with Melifix, salt, maybe a little yellow powder (pafurazine) and close observation for injuries and any necessary treatment for a couple weeks.  
  • 7.   If you see a milky colored cloud in your pond the eggs have been released/expressed by the female and the males are fertilizing the eggs with their milt.  Yes, after all this they are hungry and all koi in the pond will eat to their heart’s desire on the eggs.  Resident koi will continue to eat all eggs found while searching for daily food (go koi).  
  • 8.   A few days later depending on the pond water temp you can expect some small fry to appear and they are hard to see.  Look for a little yellow spot – food yoke sack they bring with them at hatching and it will be gone in a couple days.  Oh, and for this time (2 or 3 days) they are not free swimming but attach themselves to about anything.  If not - just think of the koi feeding frenzy – ALL your koi would just look for the swimming yellow spot and open their mouths and eat away.

Going from general to more specific would include:

  • 1.   Spawning can occur when your early spring pond water temp goes above 63F and is noted to be most prevalent at 66/67/68F.  A spawning event is normally 5 to 9 hours.  Now you know part of why this is so exhausting to both sexes but more so to the female usually.
  • 2.   Koi are oviparous breeders and females are said to produce 50 to 100K viable eggs per pound of body weight.  So yes, a 10lb female could if at max have 1 million eggs, but several references state that the released number of eggs is more in the 100K per 2.5 pounds of koi.
  • 3.   Koi sperm besides being called milt is also referred to as hom.
  • 4.   At the time of the spawning a female’s ovary can be more than 50% of total body weight.
  • 5.   Unfertilized eggs will become opaque quickly and will most likely start to turn a gray color in a couple days from a fungus growth, usually Saprolegnia, (trust me it’s in your back yard pond water) and the growth will (if you’re lucky) spread quickly to the viable eggs and the new fry are not strong enough to break out of the egg sack with fungus on it.  So your survival rate goes way down (go fungus).  

Now to the fun stuff (pseudo-scientific) that puts most of you to sleep:

  • 1.   So why do koi spawn??  Remember your koi are just a bag of hormones doing as directed. 
  • 2.   So, the amount of sun light and the angle of the sun is right plus the temp has reached the right degree for the female koi and she is over 3 years old.  Oh, and the stress from her environment is close to zero!!!  So, what’s a koi to do?  Well, the koi’s pituitary gland in the front lobes of the brain is reviewing Mother Nature’s requirements and conditions governing reproduction and it finds all requirements are met so a hormone called gonadotropic is released – which triggers the hormonal pathways to reproduction activities within the female koi.  Keeping it simple – a cascade of hormonal activities concludes with the female koi releasing a pheromone into the water that when detected by the male koi cause it to release its own hormones that triggers the male reproductive pathways and all this leads to the koi mating dance.

Now that was not all that bad, not much science and short for me. LOL.

To end this article, it is with some pain and difficulty that I tell you about my error of omission that made the natural spawning in my pond now 8 years ago possible.  When we get old some of us can find all kinds of excuses for not doing something which led me to a first time in my pond maintenance schedule to go three weeks between water changes (our koi show and a bad 10-day respiratory infection).  Plus, I had my reverse osmosis (R/O) system off during the koi show.   We all know my favorite saying about pollution – The solution to pollution is dilution.  I normally do a 5% daily water change (via R/O) and a weekly prefilter clean and water change of 2,000g or 16%.  The pollution in this case is the female pheromone.  I got this crazy idea that if I dilute it enough then I will not have a natural spawning and I have no idea if this works but the one year, I don’t do water changes for 3 weeks and stop daily R/O for a few days at the time my pond temp reaches 63 well that’s when the spawning occurred.  The other time was the first year I had my pond some 18 years ago.  Just another reason to keep up with your pond maintenance schedule.

If you’re not interested in having new koi fry in your pond after a spawning, you can consider doing what I did after the event. 

  • 1.   I did a large water change (close to 40%) and this should be done even if you want the eggs to survive (another article).
  • 2.   Examine your females and decide if you want or need to isolate them and if they need any treatment – do this always and for a few days after spawning.
  • 3.   Stop feeding your koi and let them eat caviar for the next 5 days.
  • 4.   My prefilter had a lot of eggs so I killed the eggs with potassium permanganate then flushed the chamber and refilled as part of water change.

As with all my articles I hope to pass along a few koi tidbits (some helpful) on selected subjects and maybe encourage your own search for additional info on the subject matter at hand. 

r/koi jack



by Matt Rhoades

`Scuba Phone’

I would be willing to bet that we have all done the first part, but probably very few the second. So, here’s my story… I misplaced my phone and went into the “find it” protocols: had my wife call my number so i could audio-find-it three/four times (nothing/went straight to voicemail.  Oh shoot - treat it like a dead phone and search the house (nothing).  Get my son to use his phone to track my phone's whereabouts.  It said my phone was a mile away in a shopping center (when was I near that shopping center recently?)

Went to the shopping center and searched in the area where it was pictured.  As we zoomed in on the image on my son’s phone, it indicated that the phone was in the parking lot, on a driving lane.  We looked there and nearby in the vegetation, but my phone was nowhere to be seen.  Stuck on the mindset of “I don’t remember being in this shopping center recently” and “Sure glad I bought insurance”, I drove over to my phone store (which just happened to be in that shopping center) and reported my phone lost - to be replaced. A few days later I received my replacement phone and went about setting it up.

A month or two passed and the water in my pond had gotten bearable to jump in to do some maintenance on the bottom drains.  It seems my neighbors out back have an umbrella palm tree whose leaf stems seem to like to go into, but not flow through my bottom drains. The damn things just protrude out from the BD cover like aquatic chicken legs. So, I jumped in to do this task and was greeted by an algae-covered technological wonder wedged at the exit point of the bottom drain.  I figured my phone was in my shorts pocket, I sat down to work on something with the pond, the phone went plop into the pond, and took up residence on the bottom.  It had slowly worked itself into getting stuck under the bottom drain lid.  I picked it up and tried to dry it out, but it was beyond service.  I did check to see if there were any “fish to fish” collect calls, but I guess my fish weren’t interested.

Notes from Koi Club of San Diego Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday, March 8th, 2023 by Tamsie Pierce

Members Present in person:

Matt Rhoades

Greg Ruth

Jack Chapman

Lenore Wade

Julia Schriber

Linda Pluth

Al Pierce

Tamsie Pierce

Called to Order at 7:00 PM 

VP Program reported that the program for the March meeting would be a version of “Jeopardy”.  

VP Venue reported April meeting would be at the home of Robert Schmidt.

May meeting will have a date change due to Mother’s Day. That meeting will be at the home of Jeff Kane in Carlsbad.

June meeting will be at the home of Jill & Matt Rhoades.

July meeting will be at the home of Terry & Sam Seat in Bonita

May 6 will be the Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival at Cuyamaca College.  Our plans are to share a booth with the Water Garden Society with fliers of information about our club. 

Linda Pluth will inquire about the possibility of having a meeting at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park at some point.

Treasurer’s report was presented. Non Profit status is still working on the paperwork necessary for reinstatement. 

Japanese Friendship Garden pond had drains blocked due to bamboo leaves. Jack Chapman cleaned them out. The blue Heron visited the pond.  No fish lost . Starting in June Jack will be giving a koi talk to the summer campers at the site.

KHA- It has been a quiet month. Cooler this winter than prior years.

Membership- 86 active members.  Jill Leach has expressed an interest in stepping forward to take on the open position of  membership.  A reminder that the dues were raised to $48 for the year last month.

Shed clean out - Dean Strasser  has offered space to store the show tanks.  He has a 10 X 20 shed for things from the storage shed.  Buck Buckles has space for some of the shed items.  Clean out of the shed will be Sunday, March 26 at 9 AM. Julia has offered the use of a box truck.  There was some discussion of logistics on the clean out and moving of items to new locations

New Business- Julia suggested some sort of classes on catching fish and fish health. Matt suggested at the June meeting at his home doing a demonstration of catching koi for bagging or transport. 

T shirt sales - a koi related T shirt, not specifically KCSD - can be set up as print on demand.  Julia can handle the T shirt sales.

Instead of small group classes, it was suggested that we use demonstrations (like catching fish) at individual meetings.

The question was raised as to whether we have a contract with the storage unit.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:25.

Koi Person of The Year 2022 Lenore Wade



President: Lenore Wade

First VP-Program: Open

Second VP-Venue: Matt Rhoades

Secretary: Tamsie Pierce

Treasurer: Jill Rhoades




Newsletter editor/

Webmaster: Julia Schriber

Membership Chairman/

Vendor Chairman: Greg Ruth

Koi Health Advisor/

Librarian: Jack Chapman

Club Historian: Dr. Galen Hansen

Property Manager: Al Pierce

Correspondence Secretary: Shirley Elswick

Japanese Friendship Garden Liaison: Linda Pluth


Koi Health Advisor/

Water Quality: Jack Chapman

To Host a Meeting: Lenore Wade

To Submit an Article: Linda Pluth

This message was sent to you by {Organization_Name}

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe at any time