Free White Fish

Remember that movie Free Willy? Where a boy freed a captive killer whale?

This story is kind of like that.

We had this foot-long white koi that was too big for our 55-gallon tank. It was causing a havoc – eating and pulling plants that we spent a small fortune on. And although it had always left the other 5 small goldfish alone, we knew that we would all be happier if it was elsewhere.
Enter Meadowlark Gardens.

Long time readers know that this was where we got married and we hold annual membership which allows unlimited visits.

There is a lake (see here) at Meadowlark that is filled with turtles and koi and plants to nibble on, so it was a no-brainer for us to call and see if they would accept a donation.

They agreed.

The whole process was easy. We called in the morning and by the afternoon, our fish had a new home.
We huddled around for one last look.

The release!
white fish
The koi was scared and hid under the plants. We spent some time at the garden and when we stopped by the same spot just before we left, he was gone - must had swam away.
Some of the koi in the lake are giant.

Hopefully it was a fun experience for the kids, but it definitely was for me! It will be fun to look for our koi each time we visit Meadowlark. I am sure we won’t find it every time, but if we go there enough, I hope to spot it eventually. I am just relieved that we donated the koi to a controlled environment, as oppose to letting it go in the wild. At least we know that it is safe and has food to eat and probably a lot happier.

That same night, I wondered out loud, “I wonder what the white fish is doing now? Hope it’s OK.”

Ha, and I had to laugh. If I feel this way about a FISH, how am I going to deal when my kids go to college???

After Meadowlark, we went to our favorite pho place for dinner, grabbed some spring rolls next door afterwards, and visited Bluemont Park/Playground for the first time. I thought the park was great - shady, ample seating, themed play structures. The kids seemed to enjoy it too. We didn't get a chance to play in the stream nearby, so I would love to take the kids back there again.


  1. What is a beautiful Koi! That's great you could release it there, so fun to go visit your fish each time you go to the lake :) LOL on your comment about the fish and feelings about kids going to college.
    That is one cute playground! I like how Anna is enjoying her spring roll while Will is checking out the slide :) -Eva

  2. I bet that Koi was thinking, "I wonder what 'momma' and those two cute kids are doing now" the same time you thought of him/her. :)

    I hope you spot "the fish" on your next visit - jumping for joy trying to splash you. :)

  3. 55 gallon tank, nice!! And how sentimental are you over a fish, so adorable!!! But really nice that the garden adopted your koi and so awesome you and the family can visit the koi and look for it!

  4. First off, $30 bucks is hardly a small fortune. They're just houseplants...that sit in a tank...covered by water. And now that the Big White Whale is gone, they'll be able to grow in peace, instead of pieces. Besides, it's this or plastic - and the day I start decorating the house with plastic plants is the day I'd rather live outdoors.

  5. haha actually this post reminds me of finding nemo. except in reverse because you placed your koi in a much larger pond rather than a smaller tank.

    it looks like you all had a fantastic day of letting the koi go and just spending time with your family.

  6. How sweet that you donated the koi fish! That train playground structure looks like so much fun, and yay for shady playgrounds so everyone doesn't get overheated. Have a great weekend!


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