About the Crucian Website

Hi, I’m Peter Rolfe (A.K.A. "The Crucian Crusader") and I thought it was high time that the crucian had a website of its own. The idea is to provide a database of information and to gather together ideas and experiences to try to build up a really reliable resource for anglers, naturalists, conservationists, scientists, land-owners, fish farmers and dealers - in fact anyone who's interested in the species.

I've used the name "crucian" and not "crucian carp", because it is, after all, a separate species (Carassius carassius), and not just a smaller version of the common carp (Cyprinus carpio), whatever the great Richard Walker thought ("a jolly, chubby little carp"). Perhaps if everyone knew it as a separate species, it would be better respected and more likely to survive. We don't call a goldfish a "goldfish carp" so why call a crucian a "crucian carp"? If that is turning an adjective into a noun - so be it!

A nice Crucian Carp A Marsh Farm Crucian Carp A small pond Crucian Carp big and small Crucian Carp

This website aims to do the following:

  • To celebrate the pleasures of crucian fishing
  • to provide a reliable guide to identification and so clear away some of the confusion
  • to provide an exchange of correspondence for anyone interested in the crucian, so that we can share views & learn from each other
  • to keep everyone up to date with news and views about the crucian from all over the country and from abroad
  • to describe the biology of the crucian from the angler's point of view and to keep abreast of relevant scientific research
  • to show how to develop new crucian waters and how to manage crucian stocks
  • to encourage crucian conservation by all of the above

It would be so useful to tap into the experiences of crucian anglers here and abroad, so please send me your experiences and comments and I'll add them to the website. In that way we can build up a comprehensive picture of the fish, its behaviour, the places where it lives (no need to be specific) and the fishing for it.

Browse the site by following the site menu at the top of the page or use the search box below.

Crucians and me

Crucians were the first fish I caught, in a small Essex sand pit at the end of World War 2. Many years later, in the early 1970s, I started to restore field ponds, mainly to provide myself with some private fishing. I stocked these ponds with carp (of course!), tench and crucians. I quickly found that crucians in particular flourished in these small ponds, reproducing in huge numbers. The local angling club used many of these fish in its lakes and ponds. From 1987 until 1996 I was partner in a small water plant and fish farming business and we used the restored field ponds to breed tench and crucians. Since then I have restored and created a number of lakes and ponds, managing four of them in favour of crucians. I've told that part of the story in my 1997 fishing book, published by Medlar Press, called 'The Net on the Garage Wall'.

In 1998, Angling Times published a photo of the new crucian record, caught by Adrian Eves. The trouble was, it didn't really look like "my" crucians, being much higher backed. This prompted me to do two things: first, to begin to research crucians and secondly, as the technology became available, to have my fish DNA confirmed by Dr. Bernd Hänfling at Hull University, which was duly done.

Peter Rolfe with a good Crucian Carp

Research became a bit of an obsession, resulting eventually in my second book, 'Crock of Gold, Seeking the Crucian Carp', and this website.

Another Crucian Carp Crucian Carp Crucian Carp again Another Crucian Carp Crucian Carp Crucian Carp Crucian Carp again Crucian Carp Another Crucian Carp Crucian Carp Crucian Carp Another Crucian Carp Crucian Carp Crucian Carp again

Crock of Gold - Seeking the Crucian Carp

Re-printing announcement

I'm pleased to say that 'Crock of Gold, Seeking the Crucian Carp', as you know the only book devoted entirely to the species, is being reprinted and you can get a copy from Amazon or from the publishers, MPress (Media) Ltd., on 0845 408 2606 or at Calm Productions. The First Edition is now out of print and already collectable.

If you can get hold of it, 'The Net on the Garage Wall' may be of interest. It was published by Medlar Press in 1997 and tells the story of my "watery experiences". Amongst all the fishing stories is quite a lot about restoring small ponds and lakes and my early experiences of fishery management. You can always learn from my mistakes!

I think that Medlar are planning to reprint this book in a cheaper edition. The more people who phone them about it, the quicker it will happen!