I spent my saturday morning clasping fish, plucking shiny little discs of gold out of nets, into buckets and out of buckets into the pool. A friend of mine has a pond containing some rather nice mature koi along with the offspring of a couple of goldfish that his better half added against his wishes. Those offspring have increased into the 100s and so a reduction in their numbers was necessary. My goldfish population having a) been under a little bit of a heron siege and b)failed to show such promiscuity could do with a bolstering and so a win-win situation formed itself. I was expecting fry but instead got fat adult goldfish.
Most were a rich crimson.
I love the plumpness of a mature Carassius auratus. Not quite as wonderful as our native crucian carp, Carassius carassius, a similarly plump little wonder so beloved of anglers it has it's own dot org website, (goldfish hybridisation being one of it's problems).
Others showed red and white patterning probably a legacy of some Sarassa Comet blood somewhere in the system (though the above fish shows no comet tail).
Meanwhile below is a jet black fish.
This isn't a wildtype goldfish (a form I find rather beautiful in it's simplicity) but simply a fish which hasn't fully undergone the change to red. I'm not sure if it will having reached this size unchanged but you can see some orange showing through and a fully orange belly - the colour tends to start at the bottom and work its way up as goldfish take on their adult colouration. Most goldfish populations will show a few fish like this illustrating the numerous genes involved in producing fish which develop colours with age.
There were also two types of pure white goldfish turning up in our nets. Above is a metallic white fish. Note the white eye and metallic scales. Nice lemon head on this camera shy individual. Below are 4 fish to show some of the variation between red and white (they were laid on the towel for a couple of seconds immediately before release).
That bottom fish is an interesting one. Note the difference in its scaling - no metalic reflection just a glistening white sheen. I believe the technical name for a fish showing this is "matte" and it's a double recessive variant of the nacreous or callico fish like shubunkins. It's also showing a distended stomach - perhaps eggbound - but it seemed healthy enough generally. Another non-metallic fish below.
Goldfish by the handful.....
and I'll leave you with the moment of release - look at that high dorsal fin!
Hopefully in years to come these will breed as readily as the stock they derived from and fill my pond with fat littel red coins lazing between the lily pads. I'm sure they will. They are goldfish after all.