Goldfish lovers – and koi lovers, too – you have a 14-year-old girl to thank for a happy ending to a fish tale at the newly renovated Glencairn Garden ornamental pond.
MacKenzie Shook caught 25 goldfish and two koi in the pond of a nice lady named Carol Whitner Moss. Then with the help of her father, known as “The Fish Guy,” she dumped all the fish into the pond Friday just in time for the garden's 50th anniversary celebration, which ended Saturday.
Before renovations that culminate with today's anniversary events, the garden featured dozens of koi – colorful Japanese carp – and goldfish in the pond. Jonathan Marx, a Winthrop University professor, had asked the Herald to solve the mystery of the koi fish that disappeared.
Turns out those old koi fish, behemoths as long as two or three feet, were transferred to a pond at Manchester Meadows complex during the repair work.
Dave Shook, MacKenzie's father and a member of the city's tourism commission, is “The Fish Guy” because he's an amateur fish lover. He helped out with the restocking at the behest of John Taylor, maintenance director for the city's parks, who has been dubbed “The Fish Whisperer” after a Herald story about how Taylor had the old koi saved.
The old koi live, and the new koi and goldfish live, too.
The new fish are smaller but are expected to grow to be as big as a foot or maybe even 2 feet – according to The Fish Guy, that is.
“They will grow as large as their environment will allow,” The Fish Guy said.
Taylor, now The Fish Whisperer forever at the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department whether he likes it or not, said the new pond has an aeration, filtration and circulation system that will keep the fixed-up pond cleaner, clearer and healthier for the fish.
“Their new home,” said MacKenzie of the new fish. “I hope they are happy.”