HomeCity NewsCarpe Diem — City Rehomes Resident’s Beloved Koi

Carpe Diem — City Rehomes Resident’s Beloved Koi

First published in the July 23 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

It was a peculiar request.
A longtime Glendale resident had decided to move to Washington, but also to retain her property in the Jewel City, to rent out. While living here, she spent 30 years — yes, three decades — raising several koi fish in a decorative pond, which she did not want to leave for tenants to worry about.
What exactly does one do with five large koi, in addition to three red slider turtles that had joined them in the pond?
Well, you can call the Glendale Community Services and Parks Department, which has a home for them at the Japanese Tea Room pond at Brand Park.

  • Community Services and Parks employees slowly bring a tub with a donated koi fish to the Japanese Tea Room koi pond at Brand Park.
  • Chris Peplow introduces one of the donated koi fish into the pond.


“I’ve been working here for a long, long time,” said Chris Peplow, a park services manager with the department. “This fish donation was a fun one. It was a blast.”
Peplow has spent much of his time with the department developing and maintaining this koi pond, and in recent years has designed and installed various pieces of equipment — skimmers and modern filtration systems — to try to keep algae under control there. He goes to great lengths to make sure the koi and other carp living there have a quality life. Turtles have a home there, too, but they breed so frequently that the city has to periodically offload a number of them elsewhere, Peplow explained. The bluegill, he could do without.
“If I can reduce the number of bluegill and increase the koi, I’ll be happy,” he said.
So, when he took this call, Peplow seized the moment. The woman, he said, had tried unsuccessfully to lure other groups to take the fish, but no one bit. Peplow assembled several plastic tubs and a work truck and plotted his scheme.
“Slow trip,” he deadpanned. “I got the biggest tubs I could find and we did one per tub. I just drove with the hazards on across town. I didn’t want to jostle them too much. Actually catching them was simple, because her pond was so small.”
Once they arrived at Brand Park, Peplow and his colleagues slowly released the aquatic animals into the pond, where the koi joined a respectably large school and the turtles began competing for sunning spots. The city documented the fun, feel-good tale on social media.
Not a bad day’s work, according to Peplow.
“She raised them for 30 years, and now she can see her fish if she does come back,” he said. “I’m sure she’ll know which fish are hers.
“She was happy, and I am, too,” Peplow added. “We got some nice-looking additional fish in there.”

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