Carps are very rarely rubbed under our climatic conditions. In most waters, carp come from stocking. At first glance, the carp is very vigorous, and at the same time a gentle lover. Breeders know this and prepare cozy love nests for carp.
Carps are the favorite fish of many anglers. Catching a large carp is a real challenge for specialists: Common anglers who fish for soft feeding also take carp even more often. These fish also have very tasty meat – Pure water carp is a real delicacy and some gourmets prefer carp meat even over trout meat.
However, many anglers may not be aware of this, that this very popular fish in Poland has enormous difficulties with natural reproduction and that is why most fisheries must be successively stocked with carp.
So, is a real curiosity! What is a cause of it? To better understand the essence of "carp problems” even a cursory study of the history of breeding is necessary, biology and the life requirements of these fish.
Already the Romans bred carp
Carps come from rivers flowing into the Caspian and Black seas. From there, they spread into the Danube and into Southeast Asia. The first breeders of carp in Europe were the Romans. They kept them in ponds and spread this species throughout Asia Minor, Greece and the Apennine Peninsula. In those days, carp was a real delicacy. Eventually, the Romans also brought them to Central Europe. Thanks to you, about the Romans, that in addition to wonderful wines, you also inherited these wonderful fish.
Charlemagne (768 – 814) he ordered, that carp would be raised in all ponds under his control. Monasteries were the first in Central Europe to breed carp. During the fasting period, monks were not allowed to eat meat, but fish do. Therefore, they did everything, that the carp they breed are as good as possible. Due to this, that monasteries were located all over Europe, carp quickly spread throughout our continent. These fish are very popular, same in Israel, as well as in East and Southeast Asia.
Only fishermen in North America are probably not interested in carp. Nay, they even consider them pests. Americans are afraid, that in the future, carp may displace their native carp, more delicate species of fish.
Carps have been living in Central Europe almost since 2000 years, but still they can't settle in for good. Only a few natural water reservoirs offer favorable conditions for tarting. Even if they manage to mate once in a while, and so in most rivers and lakes their offspring fail to survive ^ the first winter. Carps come from warm climates. And although they live and have been bred with us for so long, they still prefer elevated water temperatures. Having learned from years of experience, breeders know this very well and take these requirements into account. Let's see how they try, and perhaps we will understand, why in our latitudes carp are so rarely able to reproduce effectively in a natural way. Therefore, carp pond farms can only be established in favorable climatic zones. North of 60 north latitude (Oslo) and above 400 m n.p.m. the carp is too cold. Under favorable climatic conditions, the carp reach an average weight after three years 1,5 kg. Even then, you have to try very hard, for these fish to spawn.
The spawning date should be as early as possible. The second half of May is the most advantageous, because only then do the small carp have time to grow to the size that allows them to survive the winter. By autumn, all fish must be at least approx. 10 grams. Otherwise, they have too little energy reserves, to survive the long and cold winter without food. Too early spawning is also dangerous. Carp fry do not survive drastic changes in temperature, which occur, for example, during the "Three Gardeners" in mid-May.
A noisy love game
So that the carps can wipe themselves at a convenient time, breeders prepare specially spawning ponds, real love sockets. These ponds have an area of 100 do 200 square meters and are very shallow. They are also called Dubish ponds. Their name comes from the name of the well-known breeder Tomasz Dubisz, who made them up. The spawning ponds are overgrown with soft grass and are flooded shortly before spawning. They should be located in a well-sunny and wind-sheltered place, so that the water can heat up as quickly as possible.
At the time, when the water heats up to temperature 18-20 degrees, while at night it does not cool down below 15 degrees, spawning pairs are introduced into the pond. With a bit of luck, on the second day you can even hear the loud love game of fish from afar. Loud splashing of carp during spawning is called by breeders "strokes".
After a few days, the small carps hatch. They live for a while from stocks in a yolk sac, then they need the right one, wholesome natural food (microscopic animal plankton). Small carps are growing very fast and after 5 weeks weigh approx 1 gram, and at the beginning of winter they have po 50 grams. Only then do they have a chance, that they will live to see the next summer healthily.
In our open waters, thermophilic carps rarely find suitable conditions for natural spawning. Due to low water temperatures, in many reservoirs the sex products of carp mature too late, sometimes only in August.
The fish begin to look for partners ready to spawn and a favorable spawning site. When all these conditions are met, The carp's pituitary gland begins to secrete a hormone that controls spawning and milk production. However, if the roe is laid too late, the carp fry before winter are too small and never live to spring.
What a happiness it is for us fishermen, that many pond farms have a large supply of stocking material every year. Carp fry are very cheap. The cheapest restocking is to drop one-year-old carps into the water reservoirs.