Detroit’s Belle Isle Aquarium Koi Transfer a Tradition Each Spring

More than 200 volunteers help to move 250+ koi to the aquarium's outdoor pond.

The koi fish at the Belle Isle Aquarium in Detroit made their annual trek from the confines of indoor holding tanks to the aquarium’s outdoor pond this weekend, a ritual that has been going on at the aquarium for years. The aquarium has made in an annual tradition every year, and it has seen the number of volunteers swell in recent years, reports the Detroit Free Press. The weather, at 60 degrees Fahrenheit cooperated and so did the fish as they were netted and transferred without a hitch.

Several hundred volunteers, including cub scout troops and Friends of the Aquarium, with many wearing “koi wrangler” buttons helped with the transfer, handing partially filled buckets and large plastic bins of water to the volunteers. The volunteers netted the koi and then gently placed them into the buckets and large plastic storage bins for transfer to the nearby koi pond.

In all, more than 250 koi were transferred. The oldest koi, Moe, was the last fish transferred. Moe, a female, is estimated to be 80 years old and is the aquarium’s most well known fish.

Want to Learn More?


Common questions about keeping koi indoors

Winterizing the Pond

 The Belle Isle Aquarium was closed in 2005 due to financial problems, but has been maintained by volunteers for the last eight years. It reopened to the public in 2012. It is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday. Admission and parking is free.

Article Categories:
Fish · Freshwater Fish