One week ago we brought you details of the first spawning of the season at Yagenji Koi Farm – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/05/13/yagenji-koi-farm-first-spawnings-2016-includes-video-parents/.  Since then we’ve been aware of other spawning taking place, however, today suddenly it seemed like there were signs of spawning all over Yamakoshi.

In the 2 valleys that lie below Mushigame village there were many spawning nets set in mudponds, however the exact purpose varied.

Spawning nets in mudpond, Mushigame

Spawning nets in mudpond, Mushigame

In this post – http://nishikigoi.life/2015/05/19/nishikigoi-breeding-in-niigata/ – I explained that whether natural or artificial spawning exactly what happens to the eggs and subsequent fry varies from breeder to breeder.

For example, the eggs from the spawning at Yagenji last week – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/05/14/yagenji-koi-farm-first-spawning-update/ – were to be hatched inside and, once free swimming, the fry would be released to the mud pond in which they would grow until first selection.

The pond below belongs to the Hirasawa family, the rice fields beyond it are those we saw them planting at the weekend – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/05/15/hirasawa-family-plant-rice-crop-2016/

Mudpond and rice fields belonging to Hirasawa family, Mushigame

Mudpond and rice fields belonging to Hirasawa family, Mushigame

Two large Koi could be seen gliding around amongst the mass of artificial spawning ropes with the anticipation that they would spawn at some time through the night.


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Parent Koi set for natural spawning in mudpond

Parent Koi set for natural spawning in mudpond

Parent Koi set for natural spawning in mudpond

Parent Koi set for natural spawning in mudpond

Many Koi are now released to the mud ponds for summer.  With little or no food over the winter the Koi are soon keen to find something to eat in the mud pond.

Koi feeding in mudpond, Mushigame

Koi feeding in mudpond, Mushigame

Koi swimming in mudpond, Mushigame

Koi swimming in mudpond, Mushigame

Spawning nets in mudpond, Mushigame

Spawning nets in mudpond, Mushigame

For many years breeders used the soft branches of Japanese cedar trees, which abound in the mountains, as natural spawning material for the Koi to lay their eggs upon, the mass of soft needle like leaves ideal for catching the eggs released by the female.  Whilst the majority of breeders use artificial spawning ropes nowadays, some traditionalists remain.  The 3 spawning nets above contained masses of tied cedar branches, although it wasn’t possible to see any eggs upon them, nor hatched fry in the nets from a distance.

Japanese cedar branches used as natural spawning material

Japanese cedar branches used as natural spawning material

Japanese cedar branches used as natural spawning material

Japanese cedar branches used as natural spawning material

Spawning nets in mudpond, Mushigame

Spawning nets in mudpond, Mushigame

The 2 nets above contained suspended frames of artificial spawning ropes as used for artificial spawning.  It would appear that these have been set in the pond for the fry to be released and then, when free swimming, the fry will be allowed to swim out into the pond they are already in.

Net containing spawning ropes used for artificial spawning

Net containing spawning ropes used for artificial spawning

Net containing spawning ropes used for artificial spawning

Net containing spawning ropes used for artificial spawning

A whole new generation of Niigata Nishikigoi is in production.


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