Catch a Crucian Month is back with a photo competition to celebrate three great years of progress in restoring the prospects for crucian carp in England.
For the second year running the Angling Trust and the National Crucian Conservation Project have teamed up with the Association of Crucian Anglers who came up with the idea of designating June as 'Catch a Crucian Month'. They have organised a photo competition with some great prizes to be judged by a panel of leading crucian crusaders including Chris Yates, Hugh Miles from 'Passion for Angling', the author and crucian expert Peter Rolfe, angling artist Chris Turnbull and big fish specialist Gary Newman.
The competition, which is open to all and will run throughout June, is designed to promote crucians as a species, to assist in the recognition of true crucians, to encourage more anglers to take up crucian fishing and to highlight the need to develop specific crucian waters.
Since its launch three years ago the NCCP has inspired interest from all over the country with clubs and fishery owners creating a number of new, bespoke crucian fisheries. They were often helped by the Environment Agency's fish farm at Calverton which increased its production of true crucians to support these stocking initiatives. Crucian production at Calverton between 2013 and 2016 saw a total of 152,046 DNA tested crucians stocked into 195 separate waters.
New crucian waters include Little Melton Lakes (Norfolk); Rocklands Mere and Mill Lodge Farm Fishery (both also in Norfolk); Yaddlesthorpe Ponds at Scunthorpe; Grace Lake at Biggleswade; the Moat at Marsworth; the Kinver Freeliners water; Warwick's Water in Newbury; Holtwood Ponds at Christchurch and Edmonsham Ponds at Wimborne.
Martin Salter, National Campaigns Coordinator for the Angling Trust said: "There is no doubt that in less than three years we have achieved a significant turn around in the fortunes of crucians and some of their threatened habitat. Clubs and fishery owners are in regular contact seeking advice on how to create their own bespoke crucian waters managed in accordance with the very best practice from our resident crucian expert Peter Rolfe.
"The guys at the EA have been fantastic with their advice and practical support, which has seen over 150,000 true crucians stocked across the country. A species that was in decline as a result of loss of habitat and hybridisation now has a far more secure future thanks in no small part to the endeavours of everyone involved in the National Crucian Conservation Project."
On the announcement of a second Catch a Crucian Month and photo competition in June of this year Martin Salter said: "This delightful event went down really well last year and it's great that Bait-Tech and Angling Direct are happy to continue their generous sponsorship. We are making some changes to the categories to offer a new prize for the best short, homemade video capturing the charm of crucian fishing."
How to enter
Entries are free of charge and will be online via the special competition website. Simply follow the instructions on the website to register then go catch your crucian anytime in June and get snapping and filming.
Most competitions in fishing revolve around catching the biggest or the most fish but this initiative from Britain's crucian enthusiasts to promote their favourite species is to be judged more on the quality of the photography rather than the size of the captures. Entrants will even find some top tips for taking a great fishing photo, which award winning film maker Hugh Miles has kindly produced for the event. There will be four categories for entries with the best three photos in each going into a final:
Thanks to some sponsorship from Bait-Tech and Angling Direct, each of the four main winners gets a £100.00 Angling Direct tackle voucher, plus a special Bait-Tech bait bucket containing £35.00 worth of crucian groundbaits, pellets and additives.
Event organiser judges will choose three finalists in each category and all 12 finalists will receive the Bait-Tech bait package and a signed certificate. All appropriate entries will be displayed on the competition website and we are hoping for a great selection for the judges to choose from.
Angling artist and competition judge Chris Turnbull said: "What a tragedy that our crucians, one of angling's most iconic traditional species, have been neglected for so long and allowed to disappear from our fisheries. Thankfully, the National Crucian Conservation Project has come together in the nick of time to promote the crucian and hopefully put it back where it belongs - cherished at the heart of angling!"
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