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National Crucian Conservation Project

Crucian carp - 6lb sweden
6lb crucian carp caught in Sweden. Photo by Peter Rolfe.

Conserving the Crucian Carp


How it all began...

After an initial meeting at the EA offices in Peterborough the National Crucian Conservation Project (NCCP) was officially launched on 28th May 2014 at the Angling Trust Coarse Fish Conference in Reading.

Speakers at the conference included crucian champion and 'Crock of Gold’ author Peter Rolfe who has been developing crucian ponds for over 40 years and Dr Carl Sayer from University College London. Carl has researched the decline of crucian habitat in his native Norfolk and is an acknowledged expert on the species. The NCCP was the brainchild of angling artist and crucian enthusiast Chris Turnbull who wrote the initial discussion paper 'The case for the conservation of the crucian carp as an angling resource.'

The group is chaired by the Angling Trust’s campaign Chief Martin Salter with secretarial and technical support from Russell Robertson, a Senior Advisor at the Environment Agency. Also represented on the project committee is the Government’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and the Institute for Fisheries Management (IFM).

The primary objectives of the NCCP are to:-

  • Promote the conservation of the species and its habitat
  • Encourage the development of well managed crucian fisheries



Crucian carp_Peter Rolfe
Crucian carp. Photo by Peter Rolfe.

Why set up the National Crucian Conservation Project (NCCP)?

A group of like minded individuals came together in 2014 following widespread concerns about the loss of crucian habitat and the threat to the species through hybridisation and competition caused by inappropriate stocking practices.

Crucian carp (Carassius carassius) are endangered across their natural international range and as such are designated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a red listed species. The number of fisheries containing crucian carp across the UK is in the decline and there is an urgent need to ensure better protection and management of these waters.

Who is involved in the NCCP?

Representatives from public, academic and voluntary sector organisations and individuals who share a common interest in furthering the status of crucian Carp in the UK.

A Steering Group who lead the work and are responsible for effectively engaging with the wider project and external interests. The current Chairman is Martin Salter, the Angling Trust’s Campaign’s Chief. The group intends to meet on average 3 times per year.

What does the NCCP want to achieve?

The primary objectives are to:-

  • Promote the conservation of the species and its habitat
  • Encourage the development of well managed crucian fisheries

The resulting benefits will include: improved understanding and protection of ‘wild’ or ‘pure’ crucian stocks; habitat restoration; creation of ‘community waters’; more angling opportunities; increased resources for young anglers and better sharing of information on lake and pond conservation.

What has happened so far?

The formation of the steering group led to the production of a set of Terms of Reference describing the role and purpose of those most closely involved. The project received its formal launch at the AT’s Coarse Fish Conference in Reading in May. The project has received plenty of coverage with features appearing in the weekly angling press.

The go to place for information is the website, http://www.crucians.org/, that is managed by Peter Rolfe. Peter has recently seen his book based on his personal experiences of creating and managing fisheries for crucians (A Crock of Gold) republished. The book contains a wealth of information on the species.

A new addition on the website is a list of crucian fisheries across the country; this is a work in progress so any corrections or additions please let us know.

What are the aspirations for the future?

Our ideas and plans are being developed and refined all the time. The direction the NCCP is heading could include:-

  • A regional network of growing on centres to increase the availability of wild crucian stocks
  • A ‘pure’ crucian accreditation scheme
  • Courses or events for fishery owners and managers
  • Create ‘Crucian Champions’?
Watch Martin Salter presenting "Grand Crucians" on Fishing Britain.
Martin takes us on a journey to find how to catch crucian carp, one of Britain's most magical fish, looks at the role of the National Crucian Conservation Project and visits Godalming Angling Society, home of the UK's biggest crucians.



Watch our second film all about how to create record breaking crucian fisheries.


Now watch our third film looking at the establishment of a growing on pond to provide a new source of crucians


Want to know more or get involved?

Anyone with ideas, comments or a desire to get involved with the NCCP please contact the current Chair (martinreadingwest@googlemail.com) or Secretariat of the group (russell.robertson@environment-agency.gov.uk)


EA crucian

A Calverton Fish Farm Crucian ©Environment Agency


Catch a Crucian Month

Hugh Miles and Martin Salter with 3lb crucian from Johnson's x550px

Hugh Miles and Martin Salter with their 3lb crucians at Johnson's Lake

In June 2016 the Angling Trust successfully organised the very popular 'Catch a Crucian Month' photographic competition, which encouraged anglers to get out there crucian fishing and send in photographs of their catches and scenic waters. The winning entries can be seen here.

Thanks to some generous sponsorship from Bait-Tech and Angling Direct, each of the four main winners received a £100 Angling Direct tackle voucher, a copy of Peter Rolfe’s book ‘Crock of Gold’ plus a special Bait-Tech bait bucket containing £35 worth of crucian groundbaits, pellets and additives.

Angling Trust National Campaigns Coordinator Martin Salter met up with Hugh Miles of Passion for Angling fame at Godalming Angling Society's record breaking Johnson's Lake to promote ‘Catch a Crucian Month’ and to record a short film. This can be viewed below.

'Catch a Crucian Month' will be running again in June 2017. To register your interest head to the competition website and follow the instructions.





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