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Post by HAPPYANGLERALEX on Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:46 pm

The carp, not a native fish to our Island, imported by boat people, to join our own native fish, has against all odds, flourished, and is now well up the social ladder. Very Happy

A Little Carp History

The carp is one of the most adaptable fish in the country. Its introduction to England and Wales started as early as the 1300's, when carp were imported from mainland Europe and reared in stew ponds. Today carp flourish in almost every river and lake in the country. From small village ponds to the largest, most powerful rivers. The carp has succeeded in every available habitat.
Introduced initially by monks as a food source, carp became established and were stocked into estate lakes and fisheries, and once available, quickly became a target for anglers. At this time, the carp had a fierce reputation for being incredibly difficult to tempt, and was thought by some to be un-catchable. Slowly anglers developed their knowledge and techniques, culminating in the birth of modern legering techniques pioneered by the likes of the legendary Richard Walker.
These anglers had none of the specialised tackle available today, and had to make their own, nets from hession sacks and bicycle wheels, specialised split cane rods and eventually the first electronic bite alarm.
During the mid-20th century, carp became increasingly popular with anglers and in 1952 Richard Walker netted Britain's first 40lb fish. Ever since, carp have been one of the most sort after species, as confirmed recently when an Environment Agency telephone survey asked the question; Which species you most like to catch? 55% of licence holders stated carp as their preferred quarry.
Recently the British Record was broken by a fish of over 60lb. Whilst carp this large are a rarity, they readily grow to over 10lb, with 20lb being considered specimen sized. Carp are amongst the longest living fish species in the country, with wild fish of over 60 years old being recorded, but most carp will live for 10 - 20 years.


The common carp is native to Asia, and has been introduced to every part of the world with the exception of the Middle East and the poles. The original common carp was found in the inland delta of the Danube River about 2000 years ago, and was torpedo-shaped and golden-yellow in colour. It had two pairs of barbels and a mesh-like scale pattern. Although this fish was initially kept as an exploited captive, it was later maintained in large, specially built ponds by the Romans in south-central Europe (verified by the discovery of common carp remains in excavated settlements in the Danube delta area). As aquaculture became a profitable branch of agriculture, efforts were made to farm the animals, and the culture systems soon included spawning and growing ponds.[9] The common carp's native range also extends to the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Aral Sea.
Both European and Asian subspecies have been domesticated.[4] In Europe, domestication of carp as food fish was spread by monks between the 13th and 16th centuries. The wild forms of carp had reached the delta of the Rhine in the 12th century already, probably also with some human help.[10] Variants that have arisen with domestication include the mirror carp, with large, mirror-like scales (linear mirror – scaleless except for a row of large scales that run along the lateral line; originating in Germany), the leather carp (virtually unscaled except near dorsal fin), and the fully scaled carp. Koi carp (錦鯉 (nishikigoi) in Japanese, 鯉魚 (pinyin: lĭ yú) in Chinese) is a domesticated ornamental variety that originated in the Niigata region of Japan in the 1820s.[11] They also invaded the Great Lakes in 1896 when the area near Newmarket, Ontario, flooded and allowed them to escape into the Holland River.

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