Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Traditional Carp Pond Culture in Bavaria

In Bavaria, small-scale pond landscapes developed as early as the Middle Ages, and their traditional cultivation by fishing companies gave rise to a species-rich cultural landscape. Today, the carp pond farmers are organized in numerous cooperatives and associations.

Illustration Immaterielles Kulturerbe

Facts & Figures

  • Crucial date: Throughout the year
  • Inscription: 2021
  • Domain: Knowledge and practice concerning nature and the universe
  • Where to find: Bavaria

The ponds are often not particularly large and are, therefore, typically run as a farming sideline business. The basis for this is the knowledge passed down through generations about pond construction, stringing, pond maintenance, feeding and fishing. Training courses on these topics are now offered by the associations and promote the sustainability of traditional carp pond management in Bavaria.

Carp farming: gradual and extensive

Carp farming is extensive with about 20m² per fish. In contrast to other pond regions, the carp ponds in Bavaria are not filled by rainfall rather than flowing waters. Often, the ponds are arranged in steps, so that when they are fished and emptied, the pond at the bottom collects the water from the upper pond and fills it for the following year. This means that the water resource is used sustainably.  Feeding, pond maintenance and fishing are still done by traditional manual labour.

Ponds need regular care and maintenance, which in turn requires specialist knowledge and experience. In order for the carp to reproduce and to grow up healthy, it is necessary to manage the ponds individually, because each pond develops its own living conditions. The traditional knowledge provides the basis for successful carp farming, which also includes a variety of important craft techniques.


Landesfischereiverband Bayern e.V.
Verband Bayerischer Berufsfischer e.V.
Hans Klupp

Local carp strains were created through breeding. These include the well-known carp strains of Aischgrund Carp, Dinkelsbühl Carp or the Schwarzenfeld Carp. Breeding these species remains popular today and leads to the regional reproduction of carp strains.

No longer the domain of men

While in the past it was mainly men who were active in carp pond farming, today it is open to all genders. In the meantime, women are successfully running well-known fishing businesses in Bavaria and passing on their knowledge to others who are interested.


Bundesweites Verzeichnis Immaterielles Kulturerbe - Jubiläumsausgabe.
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission, 2023

Additional article

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Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

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The cultivation technique of meadow irrigation in the trench reservoir system has been practiced in Franconia for centuries. Traditional irrigation uses gravity-fed drip systems. Today, watering communities, together with volunteer groups and institutions, keep alive traditional irrigation and special water lifting techniques.
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