The Wild Carp Trust
What’s your main role within the Wild Carp Trust?
I’m vice-chairman so, along with Fennel (chairman) and Matthew Neal (treasurer), I’m most accountable for running the Wild Carp Trust from a Charity Commission, legal and financial perspective. Day-to-day, I’m principally responsible for the development and maintenance of The Wild Carp Trust website, and overseeing its branding and marketing activities.
What’s your vision for the Wild Carp Trust?
We are a conservation charity and our main objective will always be to secure safe futures for wild, feral or heritage strains of carp. Legally this means in England and Wales, but our gaze in the long term is international. A solid breeding programme and events to educate folk about the significance and merits of these fish as worthy of conservation (also as a sporting quarry, to be caught and returned) are part of our vision.
How will you achieve it?
Nurturing a healthy breeding stock of individual and distinct strains of these fish and securing a portfolio of ‘safe’ waters in which to stock them are key to our long-term success.
What do you hope that others will bring to the Wild Carp Trust?
Shared passion, values, enthusiasm and drive to make change happen.
Feedback and help from our supporters so far has been extremely positive, which is heartening and underlines the importance of the work we are doing and what we have all achieved so far.
Your passion for wild carp
Why wild carp?
They are the underdogs in so much as king carp now dominate fisheries and anglers’ dreams. Bigger is not always best. These older feral strains of carp are precious and should be revered for the heritage they have bestowed upon us. Everyone loves an underdog – right?
Fishing for wildies
When did you catch your first wildie?
On the 22nd August 2015 at the beautiful Llyngwyn fishery in Wales. I lost the first fish, it was simply too strong, quick, cunning, and caught me off-guard. The second take resulted in my first wild carp, which was expertly netted by Fennel and admired by us both. It made the day one I will always remember.
What’s your favourite way of fishing for wildies?
Float fishing or freelining. Both are close-quarter, intimate methods of angling and often allow you to watch fish in shallow water where you can see the fish, which is just as exciting as catching… well nearly!
What’s your favourite wild carp water?
Pant y Llyn, simply because it’s a jewel hidden in the Welsh mountains, remote and with a distinct air of calmness about it. Even in a storm there’s an ethereal quality about the place which makes spending time there very special.
Any waters you’d still like to fish?
I’d love to fish that as yet unknown wildie water… there will be a magical pool out there somewhere, off the beaten track, known only by the landowner and home to these wonderful creatures.
Conserving wild carp
Why conserve wild and feral carp?
As a lifelong angler with a passion for fishing wild rivers, ponds, pools and lakes, these heritage strains of carp are, I feel, in need of not only protection but also recognition. It’s nice to give something back to the sport and our environment, and The Wild Carp Trust is proving to be the perfect project for my efforts and attention.
I believe The Wild Carp Trust can and indeed is making a positive impact on the future of these rare and largely forgotten fish. We are a very small team of enthusiasts and it’s incredibly rewarding to be involved, share the journey and adventure with like-minded folk. It will be part of our legacy.