Koi Club of San Diego

Volume 22 Issue 5



MAY 2022

May Koi Club of San Diego Meeting
May 1st, 2022

Social hour - 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm

Meeting begins at 1 pm

Potluck, bring your own chair

Our hosts will be

Kathy and Ernie Stewart

13673 Via Cima Bella

San Diego, CA 92129

Koi Club of San Diego Ponder Profile

by Lenore Wade, photography by Bill Newell

Ernie and Kathy Stewart


On Sunday, May 1st when you arrive to Ernie and Kathy Stewart’s home at 13673 Via Cima Bella and step onto the driveway, look up to the right. You will see that the Martians have landed.

This will be your first inkling to expect the unexpected. Next, as you turn to the left to go through the large gate you will meet another whimsy of their world. (No, I won’t tell you what it is!)

The backyard is a magical wonderland where you never stop looking. Yes, there are Koi, but so much more. Everywhere, Kathy has planted, tended to, and loved her treasures. The first I encountered was on the left where under the trellis is a huge, many tentacled Hindu rope plant. I have never seen one before and was totally enthralled by it.

As you go further into the yard you will see plants and things hanging all over. The elongated Koi pond, on the right has two glass windows where the happy, friendly Koi will greet you. The air plants she has hanging above the pond are creative. No matter where your eye wanders you will see something you want to ask questions about.

To the back of the lot on the left is a smaller pond, the first Koi home which started out as a sandbox for their two kids. When it ceased being a sandbox, Kathy’s son and his friends made a temporary fish bowl with plastic bags. To everyone’s surprise, after a year the fish still survived and a dream was born. It is now the home to baby Koi.

Kathy and Ernie moved to Rancho Penasquitos in 1985, coming from upstate New York, near Buffalo where they had owned 2 different homes. The first home was a 100-year-old Victorian which they left for a greater challenge, a Pre-Civil War home. Kathy calls this 1855 house the “Money Pit”.

At that time, Ernie, a start-up engineer, was working for the family-owned Fisher-Price Toy Company. They offered him a new job and a paid move to Southern California to run a plant in Tijuana. In 1987, Mattel Corporation bought out Fisher-Price. It didn’t take Ernie long to realize he did not enjoy the new company, nor the stress involved.

He had always wanted his own business. So, in 1990, with a lot of hard work and decision making, he found Matrix and their new life began. The business makes custom manufactured items, resin forms, and plastics. (Actually, much more complicated and above my pay-grade!). Kathy is the President of the company, while Ernie is the vice-president. Their son has taken over much of the responsibilities of running the business with 16 employees, while the parents still keep hands-on.

Forgive me for not mentioning their daughter, a PA at an Oakland hospital emergency room. She loves her job, but visits mom and dad when she can.

The two grandkids are honored with street names on the post above the small pond. Being grandparents is a job they both enjoy.

Kathy had Koi long before she joined the club. She and her friend built the large pond and began decorating it when Kathy fell and broke her hip. Subsequent falls and surgeries, have limited some of her ability, but never her desire to create. I think her garden is her first love, but she also enjoys fusing glass and making mosaics.

In his free time, Ernie is an avid cyclist. He has made several cross-country trips and many jaunts up and down the state of California.

Since we have just had our annual Koi Show, I thought you would like to know that Kathy discovered us after a trip to the Home Show with a friend. Aren’t we lucky to get to share our love of Koi and to make new friends?




Wednesday, May 11th at 7:00

(earlier if you want to eat)


2691 Navajo Road

El Cajon, CA 92020 

Saturday, May 7th, 2022

9 AM - 3 PM

The Water Conservation Garden

12122 Cuyamaca College Dr. West

El Cajon, CA 92019



David & Beverly Breidenbach
Arturo Monroy & Claudia Castro
Jeff & Donna Kane
Nancy Keenan
Trevor Reynolds
Peter Storniolo & Paul Esch
Maritia & Thomas Walper



Vivian Blackstone
Michael Brooks & Dan Gilbreath
Frank & Nancy Cannizzaro
Alan & Lesley Collins
Tim Cooke
Janet & Leo DeCastro
Thom & Lynne Fuller
Mark Johnson
Afshin & Jamie Karimi
Jain Malkin & Gary Watson
Colin & Linda Patterson
Tom & Sandy Shay
Ken Sinclair & Sharon Zelin
John Svelan
Paul Weiss

Scotty Yee

Victor and Linda Valadez



by Matt Rhoades

May 2022 


WOW! What a show! First, thank you to the judges for coming and giving the koi a look-over.  I believe they were impressed.  To the vendors, a big thank you for supporting our show and bringing many wonderful items to sell.

I would also like to thank all the volunteers who worked many hours to make this a fun event for all involved.  First my Judge Chairman, Scotty Yee, who secured the judges and made sure they were well attended to.  Greg Ruth and all of his work to get the vendors into the show and his help with awards sponsorships.  Our Exhibitor Chairman, Koi Jack who has done this for many years (I think he likes it), processed koi registration, assigned and organized the tanks and made sure that the fish were well cared for.

Thanks to my foot soldiers, Bruce, Greg, Kathy, Jaime, Jill, Tom, Tony, Maya, Tim, Will, and Rick (along with many others) who assisted in the set-up/ tear-down. To John & Dr Jessica who worked diligently to check in and record the koi.  To Jeanette and Lenore who handled hospitality and greeted many of the visitors to the Activity Center with big smiles and friendly words.  Julia, one of our new members, jumped right in and assisted the judges by recording, then running the forms to Al and Tamsie Pierce, who put them into the judging computer program. To Koi Jack and his son, Frank Painter, who provided the proper chemicals to keep the Koi safe, even helping to assist a spawn or two in a couple of vendor tanks. To Buck, Jill, Rick, Frank, Tony, Cole and Ben for moving the equipment and tanks from storage to the fairgrounds and back.

And lastly, to the individuals who gave that extra when it was needed at tear-down. A good sprinkling of volunteers was at the show site until 11 PM. That’s dedication…. or fanaticism.

There aren’t enough words to say thank you to all of you, my friends.


The Changing of the Guard

We just wanted you to know that Jerry Myers has decided to step back and smell the roses, as it were. Jerry will not be doing his Vagabond Koi Rescue or any of the other communications that he has done so well over the many years.  He was responsible for our website, the newsletter, and the show brochure. That is and was a very big endeavor to take on and we really appreciate all of his work and dedication to the koi community.  We hope he will continue to visit us in the future and drop a line every once and a while.  Jerry, we thank you!

In the meantime, the webpage is getting a facelift and will be managed by a new member of our club, Julia Schriber. Julia has also stepped up to the plate and will be producing future club newsletters. She is asking all members to send her stories, photos, and helpful questions and answers to be published.

We hope you appreciate her perspective for our publications.   Reach Julia at:  julia.schriber@gmail.com

This Month’s General Meeting

This month's meeting (Sunday May 1st) will be held at Kathy and Ernie Stewart’s home in Rancho Penasquitos. Looking forward to seeing their wonderful backyard and pond.

See you there!

Matt Rhoades


Show Chair (ret.)




by "Koi Jack" Chapman


So, at our Koi show this past weekend I got asked twice if koi feel pain and I’ve not written about the subject for a couple years and will update the last article.   I may have bitten off more than I can handle but, as you all know I’m a science-based person on most things and in the past couple years several scientific articles have added to the available data on the subject and yes there are still two camps of thought.  I’m going to stay simple in this article and avoid most of the pure technical science.  For me I started on the side of no they (bony fish) don’t feel pain due mainly to they lack the required neuro-physiological capacity for a conscious awareness of pain as in humans and lack a spinothalamic tract.  The past few years have added data to this area and to a large extent that argument is for some resolved mostly around the subject of cerebral complexity, but not for all.   There is a somewhat developing general but contentious belief that fish pain is likely different from what us humans experience, but it is still a kind of sensorial feeling we want to associate to pain.  Example that I just read today - Evidence: They love hot water coming through the hose in winter. But a couple of Koi experienced burns by brushing against the brass coupling. After that experience, they stopped getting too close to the hose.

Not the best example, but you get the point.

 So, koi have neurons known as nociceptors, which detect potential harm, such as high temperatures, intense pressure, and caustic chemicals.  And koi produce the same opioids that mammals do in reacting to pain.  When I read they reported finding 5% Group C nerve fibers in koi, I started to question my thoughts on the subject as Group C nerve fibers are the pain receptors for us to keep it simple.  I personally still have a problem due to wanting to compare the human body to koi in answering the question and this may be incorrect to what koi experience.  Given that Wikipedia under Pain in fish reported  “A typical human cutaneous nerve contains 83% Group C nerve fibers,[46] however, the same nerves in humans with congenital insensitivity to pain have only 24–28% C-type fibers.[46 “.  This Wikipedia article is an excellent overview on the subject and I encourage you all to review it as it covers several other significant areas I have chosen not to address in this article but could seriously affect your opinions on this subject.  There is a growing amount of information you can review to your hearts content from an internet search on the subject.  For me today as a koi hobbyist, I practice all things koi from the point of view that koi experience an array of sensorial events that they demonstrate a behavior to avoid and that sensation in some cases may be directly related to what we call or refer to as pain in humans and I try to do no harm.   So I ask you why do koi repeatedly breach or jump into the air?   This short article does not begin to address the subject but I hope to encourage you to give the subject some thought and further subject review and consider the possibility when you go about doing all things koi.

One such good resource deserving of your review can be found at:




Notes from Koi Club of San Diego Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 by Tamsie Pierce

Members Present in person:

Matt Rhoades 

Lenor Wade

Tamsie Pierce

Al Pierce

Jessica Lynch 

Jack Chapman

Greg Ruth

Ben Adams

Linda Pluth

Julia Schriber

Cole Rhoades

Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM

Treasurer report was presented. There is still some income outstanding from vendors. We broke even on the cost of shirts. Plans are forming for a change of banks and/or accounts to clean up some of the drain on the treasury from “Go Daddy” bills.

VP venue announced that the May meeting would be at Kathy & Ernie Stewart’s home, June to be held at Jaime Kanes.

Membership totals about 117. We picked up a few new members at the show. There was some discussion about having the membership forms on site and in the show brochure for new members who wish to join.

Japanese Friendship Garden - The blue heron has showed up. It is time to seine the pond again for small fish from the earlier spawning. Plans are to put those small fish in the lower canyon pond.

KHA - there have been a few phone calls mostly on algae concerns.

Old Business-

Show Hits and Misses-

Bright (pipe & drape, tables & chairs) showed up early for set up. Concerns were expressed on set up not following layout plans.

The Truck team was too small and overburdened the workers who did show up.

Banquet AV went well. The number of seats at the banquet seemed to come up short.

Pins were sold by Lenore. All brochures (300) were also distributed to visitors.

There were a few glitches on the new entrant form with the registration of fish.

Auction of donated fish run by Scotty went well.

There was a delay on the roller door both opening and closing since fairgrounds security was spotty.

Tear down - Same as truck. Not enough volunteers to keep the process smooth. There were some questions on whether the show tanks should have been cleaned (disinfected). The time between use was deemed sufficient for disease control.

There was a discussion of hiring- either cash or community service credit - for students to help with tear down. Julia suggested we consider applying for grant money to help finances.

Blame it all on COVID

It was suggested that Kathy Stewart head up the nomination committee for elections in June. Julia Schriber has agreed to take over both the website and the newsletter as Jerry Myers has resigned.

Linda Pluth’s suggestion of using members’ homes for equipment storage was discussed as an option to the higher cost of the Escondido shed.

Greg Ruth has expressed an interest in the old pipe and tarp auction frame and tarp in exchange for a donation to the club.

May 7 will be the Cuyamaca College Butterfly Festival and Spring Garden Show. We will be participating at a booth to reach out to gain new members.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Koi Person of The Year 2021 Ben Adams



President: Matt Rhoades   


First VP-Program: Will Vukmanic


Second VP-Venue: Lenore Wade


Secretary: Tamsie Pierce


Treasurer: Dr. Jessica Lynch 





Show Chairman 2022: Matt Rhoades


Newsletter editor/

Webmaster: Julia Schriber


Membership Chairman/

Vendor Chairman: Greg Ruth


Koi Health Advisor/

Librarian: Jack Chapman


AKCA Representative: Scotty Yee


Club Historian: Dr. Galen Hansen


Property Manager: Al Pierce


Correspondence Secretary: Shirley Elswick


Japanese Friendship Garden Liaison: Linda Pluth



Koi Health Advisor/

Water Quality: Jack Chapman


Program Suggestions: Will Vukmanic


To Host a Meeting: Lenore Wade


To Submit an Article: Linda Pluth



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