Wild carp conservation

Now’s the time for us to help them

Our oldest strains of carp may have existed for centuries on their own but, in the current climate of predation, poor water quality, fashion for king carp, and angling trends that favour ‘biggest is best’, they face their toughest-ever challenge for survival.

Please join the Wild Carp Trust to support our conservation efforts and contact us if you know of a water or waters containing heritage strains of carp, especially if these fish are at risk or if the waters could be leased or purchased by the Wild Carp Trust. Similarly, should you know of a water that does not contain any other form of carp and might be suitable for stocking with wildies, please let us know.

Making a difference for wild carp

Famous primatologist Jane Goodall said, “What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” This call to action helps us to understand what’s important for the natural environment and our lives. As the old saying goes, “What sort of world do we want to give to our children?”


Action for wild carp

Wild carp, feral carp, wildies, wild-like carp, wild-type carp, heritage carp, ‘real’ carp, call them what you will. These fish are wonderful and priceless golden treasures. But the oldest strains are so rare and vulnerable. They could be wiped out by pollution, predation, or the introduction of king carp to their waters. Hence the formation of the Wild Carp Trust to protect them. We’re a conservation charity that seeks to:

  • Conserve of our oldest strains of carp
  • Educate people about the history and importance of these heritage strains
  • Champion the wild carp, promoting its historic importance and excellent sporting quality to anglers
  • Celebrate this wonderful fish, through events and awards.

When we mention ‘we’, we’re ideally including you. We hope that you will join us and be active in helping to protect and savour our oldest strains of carp. Together we could use our skills, connections, resources and energy to do something that gives these wonderful fish a better future and makes the difference that we want to make. As environmentalist Edward Abbey said, “It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it.”


Conservation

The Wild Carp trust seeks to conserve our oldest strains of carp by:

  • Securing pools and stock ponds (lease, purchase or syndicate) that either contain heritage strains today, or could be used to stock wildies in the near future.
  • Protecting these waters from:
    • Predation, by erecting otter fencing and, in the case of stock ponds, by netting them to protect from cormorants
    • Poaching, by maintaining a physical presence (through nature studies and angling)
    • Ignorance, by ensuring that those who own or have access to them do not stock them with modern strains of carp.
  • Stocking new (carp-free) waters with wildies that have been bred in our stock ponds

Longer term, we seek to provide funding and advice to others wishing to restore, maintain or create wild carp pools and populations. Our ultimate conservation goal is to help fund the research programmes and protected gene pools (lakes) containing the few remaining true wild carp.


Our conservation projects

Our current conservation project is Cowslip Pool, a half-acre pond at a secret location, that is to be stocked with one of the UK’s oldest strains of carp. Updates on this project will be provided here, with further information being made available in our member publications.

We are looking for similar ponds to become ‘Ark’ projects that will house our breeding stock of heritage carp that can be used to seed new waters in the future.