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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Mystery Fish (from Outer Space)

Mystery Fish (from Outer Space)

Can anyone identify this species of fish?

About three years ago, approximately 2 dozen of these fish appeared suddenly in our pond. They were about ½ inch long when we first spotted them, and in the past 3 years, they’ve grown to 7-9 inches. Before anyone asks, our pond is a closed system with an upper pond …

… and a lower pond joined by a pump.

These fish look nothing like any other fish we have, so they weren’t babies of our existing fish. It’s as if they just dropped from the sky (or outer space). Now, my friend Kelley Crist did admit to sneaking into our yard when we weren’t home one year and depositing a bucket of frogs in our pond (No, I don’t know why, either. Ask her.), but she adamantly denies delivering these fish.

They are all dark-green to black in color. Some of them have a silver streak along their backs at the base of the top fin. (Military rank?) We wanted to catch one of those to photograph, but they were too quick. Our regular goldfish are dumb enough to be caught by a net again and again, but not these mystery fish and especially the striped ones. (It’s as if their mother ship warned them about this.)

Now, brace yourself for the weirdest part of this story. In the fall of the year they first appeared, we decided to drain the upper pond and clear out the algae. As the water level dropped, we discovered another of these fish – living all by himself, upstream, in the upper pond. He was twice as big as the others (because he was their leader).

One more interesting point: When our pond was robbed of all the largest fish this spring (by a heron, a juvenile delinquent, or the Fish Rapture – don’t know which), these fish all escaped harm. They are all still here.

If anyone can tell me what kind of fish this is – or make up a plausible interesting story about how they got in my pond – I’d love to hear from you!

13 Responses to Mystery Fish (from Outer Space)

  1. You have put so many story ideas in my head, it may explode. I don’t know what kind of fish that is (sorry). Your pond is beautiful though. It’s weird that the heron don’t eat them. I’m at a loss. I hope you figure this out soon and thanks for putting ideas in my head.

  2. Oh, you made me smile!

    “because he was their leader”

    Better watch those things …

  3. Sarah says:

    From this angle, it looks like a regular bass to me, but I’m not a fish expert. As for how they got there … ? They sound awfully hearty. And maybe that big one got deposited in your pond after a fab one night stand that got her exciled from her puritanical fish society? Maybe she was sentenced to death via heron, but the executioner developed a conscience? Or had slippery talons? Does she have a scarlet A on her belly in addition to the silver stripe on her back?

  4. Sarah says:

    And by hearty, I mean hardy. Sigh. More coffee, please.

  5. I totally googled mystery fish after this post. It definitely looks like it belongs in a river but I have no idea what type it is. So weird!

  6. I dunno. They kind of look like some kind of carp to me. I hope not … those suckers get huge. Um, maybe some bird pooped out fish eggs? (We’re always getting pop-up tomato plants from the birds pooping out tomato seeds, so why not?)

  7. KLM says:

    It’s a northern snakehead!

    Ha. Kidding. I have no idea, but I’ll bet you had some fish eggs attached to the underside of some plant material you might have purchased for your pond. My aunt had the same thing happen. She bought some pond lilies for her fish-less water feature and the next spring, voila! Fish. In her case, koi, so she kept them.

  8. Marva Dasef says:

    Fish rapture LOL!

    I’ll send this link to my hubby. He knows all that fishing stuff and has fished a lot of territory. Maybe he’ll have a thought.

  9. Kate Scott says:

    Well it’s not a halibut or a tuna. Most of the fishing that I do is in the Pacific Ocean, so I’m not an expert of PA pond fish. The first picture made me wonder if it was a trout, but the later pictures forced me to change my mind. It really looks a lot like a koi to me, but it’s green. I googled “green koi” and found several pictures of fish that look a lot like yours. So congrats, you now have a rarer version of a koi. The green coloring probably helps it hide from the haron – got to love natural selection.

  10. NO WAY!!!!! That is so crazy!! “fish rapture” *snort* if you ever figure it our, you HAVE to tell us!

  11. Weird! I wonder how that happened.

    My husband and I were recently on a lake, and I asked, “How did every pond and lake get the same water lillies and frogs?” He said something about birds carrying stuff. Hmmm.

  12. mshatch says:

    I wonder if they’re edible? I was thinking trout but to be honest, I know zip about fish.

  13. […] First there were the Mystery Fish (From Outer Space) that appeared entirely on their own – read here for the story.And there are other strange things in our pond. Every year, we see things swimming […]