IT’S a fishy tale with a happy ending.
When Steve the sturgeon and Chadwick the Chagoi Koi carp, both about a metre long, vanished during February’s floods, World of Water staff feared the worst.
However, Steve was found alive in late-February swimming in about three feet of floodwater on the forecourt of Greatbridge Service Station about a quarter of a mile from his home.
But his mate, 10-year-old Chadwick, remained at large.
A member of the public photographed Chadwick in a flooded car park in Budds Lane on March 3, but confirmation that the carp was still alive came when World of Water staff received a phone call nearly in mid-March from a woman in Totton.
World of Water general manager, Mark Bradbury, said staff were amazed that Chadwick had swam nearly eight miles down the Test to Totton, where he was spotted by Mrs Jane Primmer, dog walking with her husband, Martin, near the Salmon Leap pub.
“No-one could believe where Chadwick had ended up,” said a delighted Mark.
Armed with a net, bread and fish bags, deputy manager, Robert Bayley and Koi carp expert, Will Coulson, set off for Totton to search the area where a carp had been seen. To their amazement, after 20 minutes, Chadwick appeared.
Will entered the water with a large net, while Rob distracted Chadwick by feeding him with bread.
Mark explained “As Chadwick had been fed by the Romsey World of Water team for years, he was so tame that he didn’t notice Will slowly manoeuvring the net closer to him.”
Back at World of Water, Chadwick was placed in quarantine while he was treated for injuries during his adventures in the wild.
Mark said: “Unfortunately, someone had obviously tried to catch him using an inappropriate hook and line, but luckily Chadwick escaped.”
Last week, Chadwick was reunited with his mate.
“It was clear that Steve was relieved to see Chadwick, as he followed him everywhere for the first 30 minutes,” concluded Mark.
Mrs Primmer who alerted Romsey World of Water to Chadwick’s whereabouts was presented with a £2,500 reward put up by World of Water’s insurance firm.