This fish tale has a happy ending

By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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Several longtime residents of Penryn are living in temporary quarters, while their home gets a makeover. The inhabitants in this case are koi fish, which until recently filled the pond in the gardens of the Placer Buddhist Church, located on Boyington Road. The move is necessitated by the remodeling job underway for the fish pond, a construction job being undertaken by High-Hand Nursery. That’s also where the koi can be found, lounging in a swimming pool on the nursery grounds. Church member Ed Nakamoto said the original design and construction of the church gardens was the work of Yamasaki Nursery, and specifically George Yamasaki, of Auburn. “We moved there (to the current grounds) in 1965, and the pond was completed soon thereafter,” Nakamoto said. The church itself was founded in 1902. Pond reconstruction will mean a more reliable and cleaner source of water, Nakamoto said. There were originally 22 fish in the pond and that figure is “down to the 14 or 15 that we have now,” he said. He doesn’t know exactly what happened to the lost fish, other than attrition. But he does have suspicions about one culprit. “We did have a great blue heron in the area at one time,” he recalls. According to Nakamoto, Scott Paris, owner of High-Hand Nursery, has said that once the fish get back in their new pond, the church can add as many as 10 fish, if they wish. For about two more weeks, High-Hand is playing host to the koi. They are a fairly hefty school of fish, weighing about 20 to 25 pounds. They measure about 18 to 24 inches in length. The nursery is enjoying their guests and they want to share the experience with the public. The nursery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Those who visit the nursery this weekend can also enjoy two days of art activities during the High-Hand Arts & Crafts Faire. Crafters will be showing their handmade goods in the fruit shed, and there will be art demonstrations in the High-Hand Gallery. All the fish can also be seen in the new pool when the Placer Buddhist Church holds its annual food bazaar on Saturday, Sept. 26.