Tuesday, May 16, 2023

A Real Whodunnit in HoCo


Tell me the truth. If you read this tweet, wouldn’t you click on the link?

In today's Baltimore Banner, Abby Zimmardi investigates the alleged theft of koi fish (!) in Howard County. "How did that happen? They just don't get out and walk:" - - Dylan Segelbaum 

The mystery of Howard County's disappearing koi fish, Abby Zimmardi, Baltimore Banner

Photo credit Julia Reihs for the Baltimore Banner

If you know me, you know I had a moment of imagining koi with legs departing from their suburban pond captivity: yes, with legs, also suitcases, plane tickets, and cell phones. 

But that would be fiction. 

There appears to be a rash of koi disappearances in Howard County and the surrounding area. Is it theft? Hungry predators? (Plane tickets?) Zimmardi’s piece lays it all out with lovely photos by Julia Reihs. It’s an ongoing investigation, so you’ll find no definitive answers here. I came away with a few questions. 

  • Why do people have koi ponds? 
  • How many folks in Columbia/HoCo have ponds on their property?
  • How much disposable income is needed to support a koi pond?
  • Are koi an invasive species?
  • How did this mystery come to the Baltimore Banner’s attention?
If you have the answers to any of these questions, help me out.

I did spot what might be a clue to one particular disappearance right in the text itself.

In 2013 in Fairfax County, Virginia, The Washington Post reported that police responded to a report of 400 stolen koi fish at a pond that was part of the landscaping outside of a business building. The koi fish were enjoyed by employees who frequently ate lunch by the pond.*


I ran this by a journalist friend who responded: 

Tasty! A rather convenient lunch spot. And economical too!

But, seriously folks…

While tiny Koi or goldfish in a pond might not sound like cause for alarm, they can turn into a big problem if they’re released in the wild. “Koi and goldfish are invasive species. If someone dumps them into our water – it could be catastrophic.” - - What happens if you release koi or goldfish into a pond?  Water Resource Manager Jesse Carlson, Savage, Minnesota 

Read the story in the Banner and see what you think. It’s a real whodunnit. 

Learn more about Abby Zimmardi here.
Photographer Julia Reihs appears to be a freelancer. Learn more at her website.

*Italics mine - - jam

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