Mum ‘sickened’ at Sunderland pond theft that included prized koi carp

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A mum has spoken of her shock after she saw CCTV footage of Swinhoe and Welsh spending hours systematically removing fish from her family’s ponds while she slept.

Gemma Riley, 36, was “sickened” to discover the ponds had been plundered. Details from the court case here.

Fish in the pond in Robert Smithson’s garden in Southwick. Mr Smithson was the victim of fish thieves Mark Swinhoe and Dale Welsh.
Fish in the pond in Robert Smithson’s garden in Southwick. Mr Smithson was the victim of fish thieves Mark Swinhoe and Dale Welsh.
“My 11-year-old daughter Meg is in the back bedroom by the pond and, knowing that they had been there for two hours and we haven’t heard anything, that has caused her to feel very vulnerable,” she said.

But associate teacher Gemma, who lives with husband Neil, 37, and 14-year-old son Jack, said the worst thing was having to tell her parents, who live next door, about the theft of their prized koi carp.

Her dad Andrew McNaught, 64, an education welfare officer and mum Gwen, 61, a head of year, had been away at the time.

“It’s sickening really,” she said. “Especially for my parents.2738073169

“We went down and discovered what had happened and I had to tell my mam whilst on holiday.

“My mam had that fish from being very small. It was 20 years old and over two foot.

“We never got that one back. They just don’t think of the impact they can have.

“We are a very close family, my nieces and my nephew absolutely loved the fish and they are really missing that. But it’s worse for my mam.

“We would always go out just to sit next to the pond. It used to be a lovely place to sit. It was always bustling, then there was just nothing left.”

Victim Robert Smithson’s fish were taken from the back garden of his end-terraced home in Southwick.

“I had them for well over 30 years,” he said.

“They were my mother’s before that.

“She used to love sitting out here in the garden watching them, but she’s gone now and that makes it even worse.”

Popular Fishing Spot Overrun By Koi With No Easy Fix

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How Invasive Koi Showed Up In Trout’s Home

A member of the carp family of fish, normally adored at peoples homes in fish tanks, has worn out its welcome at a lake which is popular among trout fishermen. The koi have overtaken Dragon Lake in Quesnel. Local authorities fear that this threatens the lake’s rainbow trout population. The seemingly innocent act of saying “goodbye” to koi as home pets by putting them in the lake is the assumed cause of the invasion.

Two Proposed Solutions, Maybedownload (7)

Left alone, trout fishing at Dragon Lake seems headed for the endangered activity list due to the “all or none” territorial nature of the koi. Only two methods appear as solutions. First, remove all fish from the lake. Various techniques exist and this “start from square one” approach would then allow a restocking with rainbow trout only, restoring the status quo. The second solution is less thorough and not really legal. Namely extract only the koi, thereby leaving the trout. One concept is a koi fishing derby but that violates law, as koi is not a “game fish” eligible for capture. Allowing fishermen who accidentally catch koi to not throw them back in the lake is up for legal approval also.

Once Fixed, How To Avoid The Problem Again

Whatever the cost associated with eliminating the koi from Dragon Lake, public education to dispose of fish properly helps prevent this dilemma in the future. Posting warning signs as a reminder may preserve Dragon Lake’s lure as a top-notch trout fishing location! If you are interested in helping with this cause then you must get to Dragon Lake and the fastest way to get there is through the city of Winnipeg, MB. If you are not sure how to get there then please consider hiring an experienced limo company like this one in winnipeg that has taken many people to go fishing and watch koi fish. That would be the safest way.

Thank you for all your support!

Colors of koi

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Sylar Aud captured this image at a zen garden in Santa Monica, after he noticed a groundskeeper feeding koi fish in a pond.

He walked toward the pond to have a closer look. la-fish-20150630-001 (1)

“The koi were all different colors and swirling around in the water,” he said. “They were like a painting that came alive.”

He initially focused his camera on the water, hoping to capture an abstract image of the colors. Right as he snapped the shutter, a koi fish peaked its head out of the water.

Koi Fish
Skylar Aud
“The fish head was a bonus,” he said.

Aud made this photo using a Samsung NX30 camera on June 7.

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Slimy Smugglers Steal Expensive Fish from Garden Center near Sevenoaks

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In the early hours of Wednesday, July 8th, crooks stole hundreds of British Pounds’ worth of Koi Carp from the Polhill Garden Centre on London Road, outside of Badgers Mount. After cutting a fence, the slippery criminals were able to steal several Koi Carp (some possibly as large as 85 cm in length) from a 12,000 liter pond belonging to Maidenhead Aquatics, a business operating in the center. An unnamed staff member said, “we don’t know exactly how many of the fish they’ve stolen just yet. It’s a big pond and there were quite a few fish in it, but we don’t think they took very many.” Although it was not the most lucrative of heists, this crime was one of the more unusual thefts in recent memory.


Police are currently investigating the theft, which happened around 2:45AM, and reviewing closed-circuit tv footage for clues. If you have any information, please call police at 101.