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ChipsFish, with the active co-operation of a large koi breeder based in Wiltshire, have conducted microchipping trials on a number of koi mainly to ascertain the preferable implant site. There are issues concerning the implant site particularly with regard to 'show' fish where the smallest imperfection could cost the fish and it's owner dearly. We looked at and trial chipped, three sites. We used fish in excess of 15 inches in length for the trials

Site (a) is the site that is being used widely in the leisure fishing industry to ID mark lake carp. The implant is put about halfway between the lateral line and the front of the dorsal fin, in, as it were, the left shoulder.  Here there is a good thickness of flesh in which to bury the microchip. There is little in that area of the fish to damage unless someone is very careless and completely untrained, in which case they should not be undertaking the chipping task.

Site (b). Toward the rear left of the dorsal fin.  This site is used by fisheries as an injection site, if needed, for health matters and when wishing to breed, to bring on spawning.  It is clearly an accepted injection/implant site.

Site (c)  This site was promoted to me by the fishery manager, an ex-Sparsholt man, as a good option for fish of a reasonable size, i.e. probably over 1lb in weight.  The site is that small area of soft scale-less flesh behind the anal fin.  It is completely hidden from view for 'show' purposes.  It is scale-less so implantation of a chip is relatively easy and with reasonable care there is little danger of causing damage to the fish.  

Chips4Fish have adopted this latter site as the preferred site for chipping koi over 8" in length. We regard the site too restricted to use for smaller koi.


The problems with site s (a) & (b) were very much the same and concerned mainly the possibility of scale damage/removal. It is possible to 'weave' the implant needle into a point where it gets access to flesh without going through a scale but it takes time and experience.  There was no bleeding from the 'shoulder' site (a) implants but there was some bleeding from the site (b) implants. Not a real problem but it may perhaps panic a nervous owner!

The site (c) implants were a dream. No danger of scale loss, easy access and no bleeding on the fish we chipped but the implant site is smaller and consequently needs much more care.  


It should be pointed out that the fish were chipped and kept in a professional environment.  They were brood fish and not your average ornamental living in a garden pond.  The water quality was kept at the required normal temperature for this type of fish.

The fishery manager and myself kept in contact for the three month period of the trials and he reported no sign of any illness or loss of condition in any of the fish and certainly, when I visited to take some photos at the end of the trials all the fish looked in A1 condition and there was no sign of any scaring or any sign of the implant sites at all. Indeed, we needed to scan the fish to find in which site we had implanted the chips.

Click on {Chipping Koi} to view some still images