Saturday, April 27, 2013

Moving of the Koi - Spring Edition

Today was the annual "moving of the Koi" on Belle Isle. The Belle Isle Aquarium, designed by Albert Kahn and opened in 1904, was the oldest continually-operated public aquarium in North America (until Detroit budget cuts forced it to close its doors in 2005).
Pond outside the Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory
Since then, the aquarium has been maintained by a group of extremely loyal volunteers. One of their responsibilities are the large koi ("Mo", the oldest, is reported to be near 80-years old). These amazing creatures reside in the outdoor pond in summer (attached to the Scripps Whitcomb conservatory) and in the basement in winter (the basement doubled as a speakeasy during Prohibition). Twice a year, dozens of volunteers move the koi from one location to another.
Members of my family volunteer yearly
My family has volunteered for each move over the last few years. This year, I met my sister (Lorna), brother-in-law (Corey), brother (Jeremy), sister-in-law (Robyn), and nephew (Andrew) on the Isle for the move. We were joined by Andrew's Cub Scout pack, Robyn's church, and my geocaching friends to help out!
Geocachers for the cause!
In essence, it's a large bucket brigade scooping up the fishies and sloshing their way to the pond.
Objects in the bucket are bigger than they appear!
My first catch of the day!
Getting acclimated

In the next weeks, volunteers will bring out the water plants.

Settling in fine!
Afterwards, we celebrated our hard labors with hot dogs, chips and Town Club Root Beer & red pop - yummy! Then we wondered into the flower room of the attached Conservatory.
Everything was in full bloom and gorgeous!
I had a hard time picking out only a few pictures for this post.
Happy Spring!


  1. I love that you, your family and extended community do this every year. I love to see the pictures and it always sounds like so much fun!! Guess I get to do it vicariously through your pictures and commentary.

  2. This looks like so much fun... well, it is work, but worthy work like that is fun to me. We used to have some Koi, but they never lived long enough to get over 8" in length. Wow!


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