Fishing for outdoor careers

Wednesday 17 March 2021

A stock pond project at Shuttleworth College is giving Fisheries, and Countryside Management students a chance to link up with industry leaders. 

Shuttleworth College has unveiled a project with leading leisure and conservation company, Embryo, to breed carp in ponds on the Old Warden park near Biggleswade, which will go on to stock waters across the UK

People looking to work in fishing (the largest participation sport in the UK) or take up countryside orientated careers which include water management, will benefit from this new partnership.

The project will give students the opportunity to practice practical aspects of fishery management, whilst producing stocks that can be placed in Embryo’s partner lakes.  

Five ponds have been created on site at Shuttleworth College, Biggleswade. by Embryo which are all fed by the neighbouring stream. 

Carp will be hatched on site in the College’s hatchery facility and then ‘grown on’ through the pond system for three years before moving to an Embryo lake. 

Students participating on the fisheries program are able to harness the following technical skills: 

  • Fry rearing and Fish grading 
  • Collecting and analysing water quality readings using various modern methods 
  • Netting and surveys 
  • Nutritional requirements of a quality yield 
  • Biosecurity and water management 
  • Pond Liming 
  • Fish stocking 

During February a total of 1,000 C1 carp and 100 C2 carp were stocked into the ponds which will produce fish eggs in the hatchery during the Spring of 2021.

Said College Fisheries Technician Luke Sims: “The recent stocking of C1 and C2 carp into the ponds was a success and supports great prospects for the future of angling. Now the students have returned they will have many opportunities to carry out specific fishery management practices. As Spring is round the corner and the carp begin to spawn, we will grow on newly hatched fry. By doing this we ensure protection of the stock and once ready they can be reintroduced as C1 carp back into the stock ponds.”

Embryo’s Matthew Pettitt said: “ We are really excited now that the pond project is up at and running at Shuttleworth. It will give the students the opportunity to learn a variety of fisheries skills which will be transferable into the industry and beyond

“The fish produced will be stocked into Embryo’s fisheries such as the nearby Broom lakes site, and whilst the numbers will be small, there will hopefully be options to rear different strains which are no longer commercially available.

“The ponds will be a valuable resource for Embryo, students and the College and we are looking forward to seeing the site come to life”

Protecting from natural predators

Action is necessary to protect fish which are maintained as part of our fisheries training programmes, which in turn prepare young people to work in this important area of conservation and sustainable food production world-wide.

Animal welfare is a key component of the philosophy of Shuttleworth College, and with that in mind bright orange lines have been placed across the ponds to deter predatory birds from eating all the stocks. This is a opposed to netting in which birds can become entangled.

Technician Luke Sims stocking grading Ponds  (1)