Crucial time for crucians

This week sees the launch of a project that aims to save one of the nation’s favourite coarse fish.

Some of the biggest names in the sport, including celebrity anglers and owners of some of the most popular fisheries and clubs in the country, have united to boost crucian numbers.

It has long been seen iconic British species and cherished by generations of anglers, but experts have warned that it could become extinct as ‘true strains’ have drastically declined over the last 20-years due to hybridisation with king carp and goldfish.

But thanks to the launch of the National Crucian Conservation Project (NCCP) at the Angling Trust Coarse Fish Conference in Reading, the future is now looking brighter for the species.

The scheme was the brainchild of Norfolk-based specimen hunter, Chris Turnbull who was concerned at how rare the species had become in his home county. It has now been given the full backing of the Angling Trust and the group will be led by the government body’s campaign chief Martin Salter.

“We are already in conversation with many fisheries and clubs with the intention of creating new ‘true crucian’ fisheries. This is fantastic and exactly what needs to happen to ensure the longevity of the species,” Chris told Angling Times.

The news has come as music to the ears of Angling Times columnist and current joint British Record crucian holder Martin Bowler, who said the formation of the NCCP couldn’t have come soon enough.

“I get loads of messages from anglers on social media asking me where they can go and catch true crucians on a day-ticket. Apart from one or two lakes I struggle to give them an answer and that’s a really sorry state of affairs.

“The work that the NCCP proposes to do is a true reflection of the great things that the dedicated individuals and groups in our sport are capable of achieving.”

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