For our May event, the plan was for Masaru Saito of Shintaro Koi Farm, Niigata, Japan, to present this seminar on the process breeder’s use in their pursuit of quality koi.  But, as many know, life happens and the plan had to be changed.  Mr. Saito had actually arrived in New York, was at the home of Phillip Gray less than a day when he received a call with sad news.  Mr. Saito’s mother-in-law died so he was back on a plane less than 24 hrs after arriving to the USA for a return trip to Japan.

As Ray and Phillip were talking, an idea was formed.  Phillip had been to Shintaro Koi Farm several times already, he had Saito’s presentation on his computer, and is familiar with his operation.  So, fortunately, Phillip Gray stepped in, caught a flight, stayed at our house, visited some of our member’s ponds and then gave a presentation on Saturday.  Thank you to Derik and Lauren Kaiser for hosting this meeting and providing the perfect space for holding a seminar, a tank of Koi, lunch and the koi store.

Phillip gave a presentation on the process that Mr. Saito and other breeders use to keep only the higher quality Koi.  Since one pair of Koi can breed 500,000 to 1,000,000 fry, that’s a lot of fish to care for.   Phillip discussed the frequency of “culling”, using Mr. Saito’s diagram of a pyramid.  Breeders cull early, when fry are only 2 weeks old, eliminating any deformed fry or all white fry.  Through each stage of culling, the breeders know what to look for as they cull thousands and thousands and thousands of fish.   Some Koi are sold when they are young, some are kept by the breeders and placed in mud ponds with the hope that they improve even more as they grow, therefore increasing their worth.  Out of a million fry, only a few make it to the mud ponds.

Mr. Saito had brought Koi with him, which he left with Phillip.  The Koi were Sanke and Showa, and all were sold.  28 people listened to the presentation and got a first hand look at the Koi produced by Shintaro Koi Farm.

Mr. Saito felt bad about not being able to fulfill his commitment to us and did donate 3 Koi to the MKPC to auction or raffle.

Teri Alexander