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River Carp, breeding.

Matthew Ransom

Active Member
Thanks for your reply. Why is it that they are not more prolific. I live in York and have heard that carp are beginning to show there more frequently but why now in 2019 and not previously. The river Ouse to my knowledge was never a carp mecca if ever the odd fish did appear it was put down to being an escapee from ponds during floods. It struck me that if they were successfully breeding the river should be rammed with them and going back many many years. Any thoughts?
 

Mark Swaby

Senior Member
The carp in the club stretch i manage spawned numerous times this year, the last time was the first week of July (though i have been away for 2 weeks on holiday). They spawn in the Cabbage and there were two very big carp among them, the males were 12-15lb. They were in groups of 4 to 6 ,males chasing one female. This year we have spotted small shoals of young carp.
 

Chris Jones

Senior Member
Plenty of carp spawn, in all kinds of waters, yet they never see successful hatches. In my part of North Yorkshire, I can only recall one stillwater where carp reproduced successfully with any regularity. Most places it's a case of once in a blue moon, or not at all. Perhaps a few more have successful hatches, but the resultant fry never reach the level of maturity required for anglers to notice. I've no doubt that carp will spawn every year in the rivers that they are present. However, the chances of a successful hatch is going to be slim. On rivers that have low carp populations, rivers that rise in upland areas, or the further north the river is, those slim chances are only going to be reduced further.

Last summer was probably the best ever chance for successful carp spawning. It's likely that for some waters their blue moon successful breeding year will become apparent in a year or two. I still wouldn't be putting any money on there being any baby carp showing up in the Yorkshire Ouse system rivers.
 

Terry Simner

Senior Member
Do Carp breed in UK rivers. I read somewhere that the waters here are too cold for carp to reproduce.
Carp are said to spawn at water temps between 18 and 24'c. Midland rivers' water temp often rises over 20'c (Severn up to 23'c this year) so water temp is not a major hindrance.
 

Matthew Ransom

Active Member
Plenty of carp spawn, in all kinds of waters, yet they never see successful hatches. In my part of North Yorkshire, I can only recall one stillwater where carp reproduced successfully with any regularity. Most places it's a case of once in a blue moon, or not at all. Perhaps a few more have successful hatches, but the resultant fry never reach the level of maturity required for anglers to notice. I've no doubt that carp will spawn every year in the rivers that they are present. However, the chances of a successful hatch is going to be slim. On rivers that have low carp populations, rivers that rise in upland areas, or the further north the river is, those slim chances are only going to be reduced further.

Last summer was probably the best ever chance for successful carp spawning. It's likely that for some waters their blue moon successful breeding year will become apparent in a year or two. I still wouldn't be putting any money on there being any baby carp showing up in the Yorkshire Ouse system rivers.
Cheers Chris, this explains a lot. Having said that there are a few more carp showing on the Ouse in catches not that I've caught one. It made me question where these were coming from and if they were breeding successfully, and if they were then why weren't there more going back over the years. I did wonder if milder winters were a consequence of the apparent uplift in numbers. A friend told me after a flood the EA were called as there were some fish trapped in a recess on the flood plain, among them were 14 carp. If you consider that number were trapped how many are in the river itself. Does this suggest there are more than we think and they have been successful at breeding in there. Questions, questions and much speculation.
 

Chris Jones

Senior Member
If you consider that number were trapped how many are in the river itself. Does this suggest there are more than we think and they have been successful at breeding in there. Questions, questions and much speculation.
With the Ouse specifically, I suspect that there are more carp than most would speculate. However, in your 14 fish flood example, I'd guess that was almost an entire shoal from a specific stretch, rather than being just a small proportion of a much more significant population.
As to where the fish in the Ouse come from, I'd reckon on the vast majority of them coming from flooded stillwaters. Don't forget there are multiple tributaries. Most of them are not good river carp habitat, far too rocky. I suspect that a significant proportion of the carp that do end up in the likes of the Swale and Ure are going to end up down around York (and downstream) sooner or later. There's only one place on the Swale that I've seen carp. That place is the only one I've heard of where they have been seen more than once and the only place I've heard (and seen) of one being caught.

There's also a reasonable chance that some carp have migrated through the top end of the Humber from the Trent. Carp are known to be tolerant of saline estuaries for at least fairly short durations. Fish moving between the Dorset Stour and Avon, via the estuary, being a known example. It's also worth considering that some carp appear to have evolved legs, which can be grown and shed at will.;) You can never say never for a successful carp reproduction in the Yorkshire Ouse, but I'd suggest that the odds are stacked against it. When that is the case, it's worth looking to other more plausible reasons if numbers appear to increase without there being an obvious explosion of tiddlers preceding it. Perhaps if global warming is genuine and accelerates, the chances will increase. However, the increase in flooding might just limit the effect that increased water temperatures may bring.
 

Bob Watson

Senior Member
I've caught a carp from the Swale which was quite obviously a commercial escapee, no top lip or deformed and battered, I have a pic on my other PC.

It was caught well downstream and below a weir from where I suspect it came from, to come from a closer commercial venue it would have had to go up a weir, possible I suppose but I thought it unlikely.

There's also loads in the Tees, if you know where to look. I think these must be illegal stockings as I can't think (off the top of my head) where a commercial would flood into the Tees?? But there are places on the Tees where I think carp could spawn and produce fry successfully.

The only place I've actually seen carp fry was a syndicate I was a member of a few years ago, there was literally thousands in the margins one particular year.
 

Stephen Crowhurst

Senior Member
Plenty of people breed koi in the U.K. which are essentially the same fish. Many of the still waters round here seem to produce baby Carp.
 

Matthew Ransom

Active Member
With the Ouse specifically, I suspect that there are more carp than most would speculate. However, in your 14 fish flood example, I'd guess that was almost an entire shoal from a specific stretch, rather than being just a small proportion of a much more significant population.
As to where the fish in the Ouse come from, I'd reckon on the vast majority of them coming from flooded stillwaters. Don't forget there are multiple tributaries. Most of them are not good river carp habitat, far too rocky. I suspect that a significant proportion of the carp that do end up in the likes of the Swale and Ure are going to end up down around York (and downstream) sooner or later. There's only one place on the Swale that I've seen carp. That place is the only one I've heard of where they have been seen more than once and the only place I've heard (and seen) of one being caught.

There's also a reasonable chance that some carp have migrated through the top end of the Humber from the Trent. Carp are known to be tolerant of saline estuaries for at least fairly short durations. Fish moving between the Dorset Stour and Avon, via the estuary, being a known example. It's also worth considering that some carp appear to have evolved legs, which can be grown and shed at will.;) You can never say never for a successful carp reproduction in the Yorkshire Ouse, but I'd suggest that the odds are stacked against it. When that is the case, it's worth looking to other more plausible reasons if numbers appear to increase without there being an obvious explosion of tiddlers preceding it. Perhaps if global warming is genuine and accelerates, the chances will increase. However, the increase in flooding might just limit the effect that increased water temperatures may bring.
An excellent piece Chris. Thank you for sharing. Certainly food for thought. I had considered targeting Ouse carp but I could be waiting a while. I suspect the Foss basin would be an obvious location for them to inhabit out of the floods that and the marina at Naburn, all that flood water and winter temperatures I imagine would impact on fry survival rates. I"ll have a word with one or two tackle dealers see if they have any match reports of carp being caught in any numbers. I can't imagine We"ll ever have them in our rivers like they do in Spain. Could you imagine!!
 

Mike Hodgkiss

Senior Member
There are some anglers that target Yorkshire Ouse carp , the biggest caught that I am aware of was 23lb . I have caught 2 small ones[ 8 lb's ers ] both when float fishing for smaller species . They do crop up now and again in matches , however I don't think there are large numbers of them . Captures of carp seemed to increase after the floods in the summer of 2007 which would indicate they may be escapees from stillwaters , at around that time there was also a spate of brown and rainbow trout being caught , I caught 3 trout when barbel fishing one afternoon , they liked pellets .The official YDAA record for carp was caught from the Ouse . You would imagine that if there were lots of carp present barbel anglers would be catching them regularly which I don't think is happening . As to carp breeding in the Ouse , it's a possibility , but as has been noted captures of little ones would occur
 
I always understood that if perch were present in the water then most of the carp fry ended up as perch food. I guess there must be numbers of perch in the Ouse? I would guess that carp suddenly appearing is most likely due to illegal stocking.
 
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