Six Mile Koi breeder has unique business


By Kasie Strickland - kstrickland@civitasmedia.com



Koi fish, or Nishikigoi, have been kept and bred in Japan as far back as the mid-1800’s. Breeders have strict guidelines that they follow for producing the most coveted color patterns and a champion fish’s bloodline can be often traced back for generations.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

“Well, you’re not really keeping fish, you’re keeping water,” said Ernie Vaughn, co-owner of Fairview. “If your water’s good, you’ll keep good, healthy fish.”


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

The fish barn at Fairview currently hold around 1,000 Koi and 300 to 400 goldfish.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

The family owned business provides pond consults, installations, up-grades and maintenance as well as state of the art home filtration services.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Besides Koi, Fairview offers aquatic plants, garden decor, home/pool/spa filtration systems and decorative water features for homes and businesses.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Ernie Vaughn of Six Mile has been keeping and breeding Koi for over 20 years.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Ernie Vaughn, left, with Anna Bruder, John Bruder, left, “fish tamer” Colby Bruder, front left, baby Aubrey and Muttley, the official greeter for Fairview Water Gardens.


Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Koi have long been traditional subjects for Japanese and Chinese artists. This 1978 painting by Chinese artist Wu Qingxia sold at auction for over $29,000.


Courtesy photo

SIX MILE — Koi fish, or Nishikigoi, have been kept and bred in Japan as far back as the mid-1800’s.

Breeders have strict guidelines they follow for producing the most coveted color patterns and a champion fish’s bloodline can be often traced back for generations.

It is an ancient art, often depicted in traditional paintings and poems, and has long since integrated itself as a mainstay within the Japanese culture which is why it was odd to find a Koi fish breeder in Pickens County.

Ernie Vaughn of Six Mile has been keeping and breeding Koi for over 20 years.

“Well, you’re not really keeping fish, you’re keeping water,” Vaughn said. “If your water’s good, you’ll keep good, healthy fish.”

Along with their families, Vaughn and son-in-law John Bruder own Fairview Water Gardens, where, besides Koi, they offer aquatic plants, garden decor, home/pool/spa filtration systems and decorative water features for homes and businesses.

“It all started because Ernie wanted to start selling Koi,” said Bruder. “I wanted to build my own business where someday I could just work for myself and be my own boss. With my landscaping experience, it seemed like a good fit.”

Fairview Water Gardens, located at 231 Griggs Road, began with just a fish barn located near the back of their property.

“We’re adding to it all the time. First we had the barn, now we have the store front, the waterfall. Pretty soon we’ll have more water features in and around the store. We’re always growing,” he said.

According to Bruder, you don’t have to be an expert if you’re interested in having your own Koi pond.

“We do whole installs, the pond, the filtration, everything and it’s year-round. A lot of people don’t think about doing this in the winter but sometimes it’s actually easier to set one up when it’s colder,” Bruder said. “The fish are dormant and it’s easier to balance the eco-system.”

Although Koi can sell for a lot of money (the most expensive Koi recently sold for $2.2 million), the fish at Fairview are more reasonably priced.

“It depends on what you want,” said Bruder. “We have around 1,000 Koi in the barn and they sell from anywhere from $7 to a grand. It depends on the size, the colors, the uniqueness of the pattern. There’s a lot of factors. But all of our Koi are from Japanese bloodlines.”

Fairview also sells goldfish.

“I think the most expensive Koi I ever saw sold for $56,000,” said Bruder.

When asked what a $56,000 fish looks like, Bruder laughed and said: “Big.”

Koi fish, or Nishikigoi, have been kept and bred in Japan as far back as the mid-1800’s. Breeders have strict guidelines that they follow for producing the most coveted color patterns and a champion fish’s bloodline can be often traced back for generations.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_263.jpgKoi fish, or Nishikigoi, have been kept and bred in Japan as far back as the mid-1800’s. Breeders have strict guidelines that they follow for producing the most coveted color patterns and a champion fish’s bloodline can be often traced back for generations. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

“Well, you’re not really keeping fish, you’re keeping water,” said Ernie Vaughn, co-owner of Fairview. “If your water’s good, you’ll keep good, healthy fish.”
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_265.jpg“Well, you’re not really keeping fish, you’re keeping water,” said Ernie Vaughn, co-owner of Fairview. “If your water’s good, you’ll keep good, healthy fish.” Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

The fish barn at Fairview currently hold around 1,000 Koi and 300 to 400 goldfish.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_310.jpgThe fish barn at Fairview currently hold around 1,000 Koi and 300 to 400 goldfish. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

The family owned business provides pond consults, installations, up-grades and maintenance as well as state of the art home filtration services.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_311.jpgThe family owned business provides pond consults, installations, up-grades and maintenance as well as state of the art home filtration services. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Besides Koi, Fairview offers aquatic plants, garden decor, home/pool/spa filtration systems and decorative water features for homes and businesses.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_314.jpgBesides Koi, Fairview offers aquatic plants, garden decor, home/pool/spa filtration systems and decorative water features for homes and businesses. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Ernie Vaughn of Six Mile has been keeping and breeding Koi for over 20 years.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_317.jpgErnie Vaughn of Six Mile has been keeping and breeding Koi for over 20 years. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Ernie Vaughn, left, with Anna Bruder, John Bruder, left, “fish tamer” Colby Bruder, front left, baby Aubrey and Muttley, the official greeter for Fairview Water Gardens.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_328.jpgErnie Vaughn, left, with Anna Bruder, John Bruder, left, “fish tamer” Colby Bruder, front left, baby Aubrey and Muttley, the official greeter for Fairview Water Gardens. Kasie Strickland | The Pickens Sentinel

Koi have long been traditional subjects for Japanese and Chinese artists. This 1978 painting by Chinese artist Wu Qingxia sold at auction for over $29,000.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_koi1.jpgKoi have long been traditional subjects for Japanese and Chinese artists. This 1978 painting by Chinese artist Wu Qingxia sold at auction for over $29,000. Courtesy photo

By Kasie Strickland

kstrickland@civitasmedia.com

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

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