Crucian carp is making a welcome comeback

A Norfolk crucian carp is one of the most beautiful fish that swims.

A Norfolk crucian carp is one of the most beautiful fish that swims. - Credit: Archant

It once seemed on the verge of extinction, but the crucian carp is making a comeback.

Now those hoping to target the little golden scrappers have an online guide to where to find them.

Crucians.org grades waters according to whether they are a 'premium' venue, with DNA-graded true-bred specimens, a mixed fishery or one believed to contain them.

Its database includes several waters around the Fens, including Dents of Hilgay and Denver Claypit. Wallington Hall also features, along with Diss Mere.

The site also gives guidance for clubs and fishery owners on where to get certified, genuine crucians to stock their waters with.


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Once common in almost every farm pond, the species was threatened by hybridisation. Many fish anglers thought crucians were actually brown goldfish. Fortunately the fish was saved by a few far-sighted conservationists and has now won back its place in anglers' hearts.

Misty summer dawns, weed-fringed ponds, jumpers for goalposts, as they say.

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With waters thawing at least you can get on them again.

It hasn't taken the 'other' kind of carp long to come back on the feed either. Springside and Bear lakes have both been producing a few fish of late. The key seems to be scaled-down tactics, maggot feeder with same on the hook.

Bream are also reported from Shepherd's Lake, where feeder and pinkie have been the winning combination. They were reportedly up for it on Tottenhill when half the lake was frozen.

As an idea of how cold it did get, the main drains and rivers also froze over, which put a bit of a dampener on things. Once things thawed a few pike were there to be had on the Relief Channel, where zander have also been showing. The Relief, of course, being where the zander began its spread through the Fens and further afield, after being stocked in by fishery bailiffs.

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