‘Crucian Month’ winners revealed
The best ‘Catch a Crucian Month’ photo winners
ANGLING Times can this week reveal the results of a competition aimed at raising the profile of one of the UK’s most iconic fish.
The photographic contest was run in conjunction with ‘Catch a Crucian Month’ – an initiative aimed at raising awareness of the troubled species – and attracted hundreds of entries.
After hours of deliberation by a panel of species experts, a stunning shot of four fish in the net caught from Surrey’s Marsh Farm by Ringwood’s Richie Martin scooped the ‘Crucian Picture’ award, while seven-year-old Michael Ewing, of Godalming, was handed the ‘Junior Crucian Anglers’ accolade.
Stockport angler John Spilsbury’s inspiring image of a traditional float next to the lily pads won the ‘Scenic Waters’ category, while Andy Lewis from Warwickshire bagged the ‘Specimen Crucian’ silverware for a 2lb 5oz fish. He said: “I think it is a brilliant idea and I entered to try to help raise awareness of true crucians. I never expected to win, but I am delighted I have.
“Unless something is done, crucians could be extinct in a decade. I think this campaign is just what is needed to provide a bright future for the species.”
Numbers of ‘true’ crucians have declined at an alarming rate in recent years due to hybridisation with other species. This is the reason the Angling Trust has teamed up with the Association of Crucian Anglers to launch the National Crucian Conservation Project (NCCP).
One of the project’s many objectives is to encourage fishery owners and clubs to stock more true examples of the species
while also persuading anglers to target them regularly.
Trust Campaign Coordinator Martin Salter played a big part in the process, and he said: “We have been delighted with the response to ‘Catch a Crucian Month’ and the accompanying photo competition.
“Many entries encapsulated the charm and beauty of crucians and the delightful and intimate waters that they inhabit.
“There is no doubt that the project has inspired many clubs and fishery owners to create bespoke fisheries and think more carefully about how stocks are managed.
“I’m sure this competition will go from strength to strength in future years.”
Renowned big-fish angler Chris Turnbull has a series of big crucians to his name and is an ambassador for various schemes dedicated to their protection. He said: “They are one of the UK’s most loved summer species, but within a short space of time they have become highly endangered.
“It is really important that we work to prevent their demise, and the first step must be the education of anglers.
“This competition is a great step forward in that process.”
‘Scenic Waters’ winner John Spilsbury ‘‘Crucian Picture’ won by Richie Martin. WINNER WINNER ‘Michael Ewing’s winning Junior picture. WINNER
‘Specimen Crucian’ winner Andy Lewis. WINNER