The recent disappearance of the fish in the pond by Fayerweather has inspired numerous rumors concerning the welfare of the fish and the future of the pond. Did all the fish die or have they been in a holding pond somewhere? Is the pond being remodeled or getting a rock bottom? Will there be koi fish or sharks in the previous fish’s stead?
The main question on students’ minds, and the cause of the rumors, no matter how bizarre, is “What happened to the fish?” Maryville College grounds superintendent Robert Earley is the man with the answers.
“I wish I could tell you that what you heard was true and the fish have all gone on vacation somewhere, but the fact is the fish that were in the pond did suddenly die,” Earley said.
According to Earley, the cause of their death remains unknown, but the pond was drained for inspection and to make any needed repairs.
Earley originally bought about 15 to 20 goldfish from Wal-Mart a few years ago, a number which nearly tripled over the course of their residence in the pond. He said he plans to restock the pond with goldfish again for a few reasons, the first being their low cost and the second being the success of the original group, which he said “seemed to be flourishing.”
When the pond was drained, some chicken bones were discovered at the bottom, suggesting that viewers have been feeding the fish.
Earley explained that he does believe that people have good intentions when they feed the fish, “but the fact is, I don’t think that chicken is on their natural diet, or bananas or oranges.”
The fish are given a feed that is formulated for them.
He also went on to explain the science behind overfeeding the fish, citing that as a possible issue.
“Too much of even the right kind of food can’t be used quick enough by these fish and becomes waste in the pond. It requires oxygen to break this waste down and thus puts a strain on the fish,” Earley said.
Once inspections are complete and the next generation of fish have been purchased, the pond will be refilled and restocked so the campus may return to enjoying the pond as it was meant to be.