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History of Fish Farming

History of Fish Farming

Illustrative photo (Rybarstvi Hluboka - History of Fish Farming)
A walk through history of fish farming in the territories of today‘s Czech Republic is particularly a reminiscence of people who supported and formed the pisciculture with their diligence, talent, and knowledge. They brought the local pisciculture among the best ones in Europe in the era called Golden Age.

At the turn of the 12th century first ponds were founded in our territories. The archive records documenting the elaborated constructing of ponds started to show up only at the end of the first half of 14th century. Charles IV was chiefly responsible for the boom in ponds founding. The end of the 15th and the whole 16th century can be called the Golden Age of Bohemian and Moravian fish farming. Constructing of whole new systems of differently sized ponds have started that time. The economic power of fish production was recognized by aristocracy and by independent cities, and that did really speed up building of ponds tremendously.

Vilem of Pernstejn had one of the first complex pond systems built in the Hluboka nad Vltavou domain. He was a big fishing enthusiast, but at the same time, he knew very well the economic potential and profitability of fish farming. In 1490 Vilem took over the domain and immediately began with extending and building of new ponds. He created first complex pond system in the South Bohemian Region. Bezdrev Pond has become a principal pond in the system and was enlarged probably already in 1492. Bezdrev Pond was provided with a thorough security overflow system to control its wild and strong affluent - Netolicky Brook. The water from Bezdrev Pond was distributed to other ponds and fish farms in the surroundings.

In the second half of the 16th century the intensity of building ponds decreased since the big pond systems had been already created. Nevertheless, even in this period an extraordinary man occurred - Jakub Krcin of Jelcany - a celebrated pond engineer who built the ponds mostly in the Trebon Basin. The boom in ponds building lasted the whole 15th and a part of the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century Bohemian and Moravian fishery fell into recession and kept attenuated for more than two centuries. Finally in the second half of the 19th century the fishery started to head back to its famous times.

The origin of Czechoslovakia in 1918 offered a new perspective to the development of fish farming. Among the first steps of new government belong an establishment of a state enterprise - National Forests and Estates (Statni lesy a statky), under its competence gradually fell ponds of total area of 11 900 hectares. Nevertheless, the ponds around Hluboká nad Vltavou were still in possession of Schwarzenbergs.

On 1.1.1950 a state enterprise, State Fishery, was established in Hluboka nad Vltavou. 2 675 hectares of ponds are transferred under the administration of the State Fishery and in 1953 next 510 and 115 hectares of ponds are donated by cities Budweis and Vyssi Brod, respectively. State Fishery farms the ponds until the end of 1993 when new companies were established after privatization.

On 1.1.1994 a company Rybarstvi Hluboka a.s. was established. It farms approximately 2 660 hectares of fishing ponds and apart from traditional fish farming, it performs sport fishing in three different fishing grounds and gamekeeping in the company’s two hunting grounds. On 31.8.2008 the company was transformed into a new company.

On 2.9.2008 a company Rybarstvi Hluboka cz. s.r.o. was established. The company followed in the footsteps of the tradition of fish farming. It manages 2 552 hectares of ponds. Gamekeeping and sport fishing in the company’s hunting and fishing grounds are popular and economically important activities.