Growing and selling fish in Thailand: Pond draining and selling tilapia
Updated: Jun 10, 2019
Time for a new project in rural Thailand
I've been asked to write a little description on my latest experience of draining our pond and netting the fish for sale.
I'll have to admit, I'm no expert on this, but I do know what I did correctly and what I "mucked" up. That's a new word I learned from my British friends. I had to ask what it meant, you may want to also.
Here is how the seven-day ordeal unfolded. My lovely Thai wife decided we needed to drain the pond and sell all the fish and then let it dry up so we can put a "party deck" on the end closest to the house. Ah heck, no problem, I'll get right on it.
Pumping out the fish pond and cast net problems
Knowing the pond is seven feet deep, I dragged my water pump out to it and started pumping away. Later that evening after taking a whopping six inches of water out, we decided to use a throw net to catch some of the fish as my wife had a vendor that wanted 40 Kilo every day for as long as the fish would last. Great, only I can't throw our casting net worth a crap. So much for day one.
Seine netting required
I told the wife we needed a seining net to drag through the pond and we would be able to catch as many fish as they needed daily.
Early on day two, we headed to town to a market that sells any and everything possible. Only no one there had a seining net except this one vendor, and he had ordered it in for another customer. He told us he could order us one and have it by tomorrow so I bought a casting net like the one I had in the US and told him the wife would be back the next day to get the seining net.
Cast net help
Back at the house on day two, I contacted one of my day workers that I needed help catching some fish that evening. He said he'd be there right after work.
Once he was there, I showed him how I couldn't throw the casting net, and then he showed me how he couldn't throw it either. We had a good laugh, and I asked him if he knew someone who could throw this. He did, and he called him to come help.
Well as luck would have it, by now my little pump had gotten about a foot of water out of the pond, and my worker's buddy was able to put 25 kilos of Tilapia in a holding pen for the vendor.
A bigger pump required
That evening I told the wife that my little pump was not going to do the job, could she ask the guy behind us if he would come to give us a hand and could we use his big pump.
Big improvement. He came over and got his pump going, and the water level started dropping. However, we still had a vendor to supply fish for and no way to get them out of the pond.
Extra help on hand
Once the wife showed up with the seining net, she took it upon herself to ask the construction guys we had doing a wall project for us if they'd like to catch some fish for us and she would pay them two kilos each to do it. All they had to do was after eating lunch run our seining net down the length of the pond twice and then do the same after work. They all agreed to it, and that is when the fun really got started.
You can catch this action on my Youtube channel " A Retired Okie Living in Thailand " under the video name "Draining the Pond and Selling the Fish."
Back to the story, like I had said at the start to this, I am no expert on this, and I did make some mistakes.
Advice for draining a fish pond in Thailand and selling fish.
Tip 1 - Reputable vendor
First off, make sure you get a good reputable vendor to buy your fish. The one we got paid for the first batch of fish and then kept telling the wife they would pay for all of it the next day. This went on for four days before I found out and put a stop to it. My wife still got nipped for almost 2,000 Baht, but I was able to get over 7,000 Baht before they quit paying altogether.
Tip 2 - Pump out the water quickly as possible
Secondly, make sure you can get the water level down to a reasonable amount quickly if that means renting a big pump, do it.
We are very fortunate to have a neighbor like the one that helped out. I paid him well for the work he did for us, and in the end, he got all of the last days fish.
Tip 3 - Hire good help and have a plan
Third and probably most important. Have a well thought out plan and the personnel to do it with. I in no way could have done this alone and my regular day workers are very talented young men and were very intelligent about how to do this.
They knew exactly how to use the seining net, not so with the construction workers, their netting skills were very entertaining, to say the least.
At times they worked, and sometimes they just didn't work out.
Tip 4 - Make sure you remove all the fish
The last thing you need to know is that no matter how well you think you got all the fish out of the mud in the bottom of the pond, there are still some in there, you'll know that in a couple days when they start to stink!
Many thanks Eddie for taking the time and effort to share your Thailand experience with us.
Good luck with the continued growth on your Youtube channel:
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