Plans to safeguard crucians

Some of the sport’s most influential figures have this week outlined plans to safeguard the future of one of the nation’s favourite fish.

Crucian carp have long been seen as an iconic British species and cherished by generations of UK anglers, although experts have warned that they could face extinction as the number of ‘true strains’ have drastically declined in the last 20-years due to hybridisation with king carp and goldfish.

In a bid to prevent this from happening the Crucian Study Group - made up of celebrity anglers, fishery owners, the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency - has been formed.

It’s the brainchild of legendary angling artist and Norfolk-based specimen hunter Chris Turnbull and a recent meeting has seen the group voice intentions to establish a ‘National Crucian Conservation Project’ and develop a national network of crucian fisheries in a bid to boost the numbers of the species.

“We want this to mark a new beginning for the crucian carp as at the moment the future of this species is far from certain as if we’re not careful there will only be a handful of waters left that contain ‘true’ crucians,” Chris told Angling Times.

“It was great to see representatives from the Trust, the EA and fishery owners who are all so passionate and committed to bringing this species back to fisheries across the nation and I’m confident that we will succeed.”

Former MP and National Campaigns Co-ordinator for the Angling Trust Martin Salter will be instrumental in taking project forward. He said: “The ultimate goal of this initiative is to create a national network of rejuvenated crucian fisheries because it’s nothing short of a tragedy that the true strain of fish is dying out due to hybridisation.

“To have a national spread of this species would benefit all stillwater anglers, especially youngsters because they are tricky to catch and have to be fished for ‘properly’ therefore adding much needed diversity to carp fishing in the UK.”