I found fish in the rain cachement system

9 Replies

I spent the last two days cleaning out my latest REO purchase with the help of my children. This is a former meth lab/earthship/mining cabin that has been abandoned since the owner died 5 years ago.

My 8 year old peered into the murky depths of a home made barrel full of algal infested water sitting where the rain flows off the roof and said she saw fish.  I looked in. I didn't see anything but a thick algal goop and my daughter's incredible imagination made me smile.

My very grounded 10 year old walked over, glanced in and said "oh there are two!".


After poking at the water with a stick for a bit, I confirmed there are are at least two four inch long orange fish in this tank. 

This house has been bank owned since the owner died 5 years ago.  The bank hasn't paid LOA fees in 4 years.  They haven't been feeding the fish.

Anyone know anything about fish?  How can this be?

Is this some kind of indestructible coy fish. Given their resilience to weather, foreclosure and inadequate nutrients, do I have a shot of keeping them alive in a different environment?  This tank catches rain off a gutter. But it is in a greenhouse like structure with rock walls which probably stayed pretty warm year round in NM.

WOW, I don't have any answers for you but that's an interesting story!

Mt bet is on birds. The drop a fish, perhaps on the roof during a rainstorm, which is collected by rainwater system. Fish get transported to some pretty unusual places. 

My former wife used to teach elementary school located next to the Santa Ana River and cranes would occasionally grab them in their beaks and some of the catch would land in the school yard, only to be discovered by kindergarten kids with puzzled looks on their faces.

Updated about 4 years ago

As a point of clarification, the birds would catch the FISH in their beaks, not the little kids. Just in case you were confused or cheering for the birds in some weird, Hitchcock way.

That's wild.. 4 inch long orange fish sound like gold fish to me. Perhaps some transients were/are living there and put them there?

A meth lab in New Mexico.. Sounds like a Breaking Bad location/scenario.. ;-)

Agree with Rick on aerial transport via birds. I have a fairly new pond that I haven't stocked yet, but it has fish. I was told they came via birds. 

Some koi/carp species are used to keep algae from growing in ponds/gardens. They live on the plants growing in the water. They don't need much care...

They may well have been put there on purpose at some time in the past.  I toss a couple of orange feeder goldfish (2-5 cents a piece at the pet store) into my water features in the garden in order to prevent mosquito breeding.  They really clean up the larvae perfectly.  They can last for years without any supplemental feeding - they just live off the insect larvae and probably some of the plants that grow in the features.  They survive fine under the ice in the winter, as long as the container isn't frozen completely solid.  They do breed sometimes, so you can keep them going forever potentially.

@Andrew S.   has it right. They are goldfish. Many farmers put them in horse/cattle water tanks to eat the mosquito larvae. They do a great job. I have some in a small pond in my yard that are over 6". They are the descendants of little bitty feeder goldfish we put in there about 12 years ago.


Sounds like it could have been birds or it could have been intentional as they can survive without a lot of care. 

Probably coy.

The algae is winning but there sure aren't many bugs.

Former meth lab with indestructible coy fish!  Should sell in a heartbeat.


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