Fish Farming

 

 

 

Our Fish Farming Methods


From the broodstock selection to the rearing of the juvenile fingerlings, right through to the saleable sized fish and delivery, we pride ourselves in being at the top of our field.

carp stock

Priory Fish Farm

At Priory Fishery our aim is to supply top quality farmed reared coarse fish which are sold to a varied base of customers, either fisheries, dealers or other fish farms. To spawn rear and sell 500-750,000 fish per year takes some doing, and being one of only a handful of fish farms in the country, this low number of farms will reflect how tricky coarse fish production is!

Tom Downe – Priory Fish Farm Manager

Priory Fish Farm

At Priory Fishery our aim is to supply top quality farmed reared coarse fish which are sold to a varied base of customers, either fisheries, dealers or other fish farms. To spawn rear and sell 500-750,000 fish per year takes some doing, and being one of only a handful of fish farms in the country, this low number of farms will reflect how tricky coarse fish production is!

Tom Downe – Priory Fish Farm Manager

At our farm we have many small ponds with our breeding stock in. These are kept in A1 conditions, so when it comes to spawning time around mid May through to late June, our brood stock are fit and ready to produce the next year’s fish production. All of the brood stock are kept separate, males in one pond and females in the other, this stops them spawning naturally if we get an unexpected hot spell.

Spawning

The method used for the spawning coarse fish at Priory involves the use of injections of hormone to induce the fish to ovulate (release their eggs), and with the males to produce milt or sperm in synchronisation. This enables the female to be stripped by hand and sperm added to the eggs to fertilise them. A female Carp on average will produce 100,000 eggs per kilo body weight! This method allows a greater control over the production of fish eggs and ultimately allows a higher percentage survival of the eggs, fry and then fingerlings. Once the eggs are fertilised by an hour long process of gently stirring and adding a special fertilisation solution, they are transferred to purpose made incubators (Zuger Jars), here they will stay for 3-3.5 days at a temperature of 23c at which point they hatch and either swim or are transferred to large fry incubators. Here they will stay for anything up to 10 days where they are fed on live food (Artemia) until they are ready to be stocked into carefully prepared fry ponds.

From Hatchery To Pond

Fry ponds are relatively shallow, i.e. less than 5-6 foot as this allows them to warm up quicker. Our fry ponds are manured before the introduction of the fry, to promote the production of Zooplankton such as Daphnia. Once the fry are put into the ponds they will spend the first 2-3 weeks living on these Daphnia, during the last week of this phase we start to feed artificial food as the natural food source will be exhausted, and within a couple of weeks the small fry will feed almost exclusively on this artificial food.

Growth

The growth of a young fish is very dependant on the food source, nice warm weather and the species. With Carp being the quickest and Tench being one of the slowest, a Carp will be up to an inch in size within the first month! As the fish grow they are netted when big enough and restocked into other ponds to give them more room and to assess survival. From now on the growth rate is significant and by the late summer the young fish are ready for sale. There is often a lot of hype around how fast fish grow, so all we can say is they grow fast enough to allow a long and healthy life.

Business Times

Our selling season starts in early October and continues right through until May. During this time we are busy daily with netting, grading and delivering fish of all sizes. Once an order has been placed the fish are harvested from the respective pond and transferred to our holding area, where the correct number and size of fish are separated to meet the order. Handling is kept to an absolute minimum, with great care taken not to damage the fish between the pond and delivery to the customer.

Health Certification & Environment Agency Site Permit

All of our fish are delivered with an up to date health check. Priory Fishery is a disease and category 2 parasite free site and always has been. We have regular SVC tests and are free from KHV, as we do not bring other fish on to our site or deal in fish.

For deliveries to any fishery we require the site to be registered with Cefas and have a EA Site Permit, which we must see a copy of before the introduction of the fish.

Cefas: 01305 206 700.

Environment Agency Fish Movement Team: 02084 745 243

Delivery

Our delivery service stretches the length and breadth of the UK, with fry in the past being sent to the USA by oxygen filled bags. For deliveries we use equipment especially designed for the job in hand, and by keeping the harvesting of the fish to the delivery date as short as possible, we ensure your fish reach you in top condition. Delivery charges will incur depending on size of order. (see Fish Prices)

Fish Grown To Order

Due to the demand of certain sizes and species of fish from our farm, we now take many orders a year in advance. To further supply exactly what you require, we offer a service of contract growing fish to meet the requirements of our customer (please ring for full details).

Carp Stock

A Carp is just a Carp? Well you would have thought so but we would like to show you different. The strain of Carp we breed at the Priory is unique to our farm and was created 30 + years ago by crossing two very distinctive strains.

 

Bream Stock

Another of those fish which is very popular either in a match style fishery or for your pleasure/mixed fishery, giving fantastic sport.

 

Tench Stock

One of the most popular fish around and always very much in demand by our customers. A must in any mixed fishery, the Tench is a hard fighting fish and very resilient to the everyday fishery life.

 

Crucian Carp

We originally sourced Crucians from two different lakes so that we had not only two different gene pools, but also we were very careful to make sure they were "true" Crucians and were not brown goldfish.

Golden Rudd

For adding a bit of colour to any fishery the Golden Rudd, like its blander relative is a fantastic sporting fish and great for filling the keep net when other fish are not so obliging.

Our Fishery Blog

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