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Fisheries

The fishing tradition in the area designated today as Between Nida and Pilica Rivers LFG  dates back to the turn of the 18th Century. It was then that, as a result of water-wheel becoming common in a variety of businesses, poorly-populated areas in the vicinity of Ruda Maleniecka, with overflow wetlands and woodlands, aroused interest as land characterised by not only beautiful landscape but also abundant in rivers and fish ponds. Population was increasing slowly. Makeshift ponds were built to rear fish fully naturally. The first big pond with an area of 16 ha was built in 1782-1784, and its principally use was to feed water-wheels of the then metallurgical mill owned by Castellan Jacek Jezierski. Even though the pond has never been used as a fish rearing site, it was plenty of fish and its banks were popular with anglers. At that time, there was a number of similar ponds in the area of the present day LFG. They were used by iron works, water mills etc., and at the same time their fish abundance attracted anglers and fishermen. According to Stanisław Janaczek's monograph entitled Włoszczowski County 1999-2009, the total area of ponds within the Kluczewsko Municipality was as much as about 115,000 sqm in the first half of the 19th Century. Widespread fisheries development in the present day LFG area is to be owed to Felicjan Jankowski, a renowned entrepreneur, who purchased Ruda Maleniecka real property in 1900 and his chief preoccupation was to use the Nida and Pilica Rivers basins for intense fish farming. He well understood that hundreds of hectares of wetlands and wastelands could be transformed into fish ponds, but only through making substantial outlays, under scientific supervision and based on experiment and research work. That is why he held a contest to set up and manage an ichthyology centre. His announcement was responded by Franciszek Staff, Europe-wide known biologist, an associate professor and lecturer of Biology and Fishery at the Agricultural School of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. On 8th November 1912, they entered into an agreement and announced the establishment of Fishery Experimental Station in Ruda Maleniecka, the first scientific centre of its kind in Poland.

The Centre saw intensive experiments and research on fish of the family Cyprynidae. The Centre was in existence until 1921, and its huge scientific expertise is still present in theoretical and practical ichthyology . Activities of the Station were continued by the Association for Selective Rearing of Polish Race Carp, established by Professor Staff in 1921, who carried out research on carp rearing, pond stocking, fish feeding and stock improvement in twelve facilities in Poland. Ruda Maleniecka ponds were one of those facilities. It was under scientific supervision until 1939. It was there that the Royal Karp was raised. In 1945, The State-Owned Fishery Farm in Ruda Maleniecka, was established, taking advantage of the local fish ponds, which, until its cessation, was the most stocked and economically successful in the area.

Thanks to the neighbouring fish ponds in Ruda Maleniecka, fishery also developed in Skórnice in Fałków Municipality. It was there that in 1945, the State-Owned Fishery Farm in Ruda Maleniecka with an area of 70 ha was established, taking advantage of the local fish ponds. In the first half of the 20th Century, Piskorzeniec artificial pond was built within the Przedborski Landscape Park in the Przedbórz Municipality. It was created as a result of mining of peat deposits and it is composed of a few ponds, including the ones called Bolesław and Duży, and the State-Owned Fishery Farm of Kielce - Ruda Maleniecka Facility ran fishery business there in 1951-1952, rearing cyprinid fish. The WWII times saw the development of fisheries in Radków Municipality, where fish ponds were originally the property of a squire, and later, following the issue of acts of enfranchisement, they became property of the State Treasury that managed the ponds through the State-Owned Fishery Farm in Pawęzów.

The second half of the 20th century saw a true flourishing of fisheries in the present day Between Nida and Pilica Rivers LFG. It was the time when a number of fish ponds and stores of professional fishing gear were brought into existence. Within Radków Municipality, due to an administrative reform affecting Polish provinces, the State-Owned Fishery Farm moved to Maluszyn and ran its business on ponds with a total area of 352 ha. The Reczków Pond in Przedbórz Municipality is managed by the Fishery Farm of Ruda Maleniecka. Following irrigation works and measures taken to prevent the lowering of groundwater levels within Włoszczowa Municipality, new fish ponds were constructed, and fish ponds owned by the Agricultural Property Agency (and previously by State-Owned Fishery Farm of Włoszczowa) are leased by business people who are engaged in a successful fish rearing. Mr Gałązka started a fishery business in Secemin. He bought some ponds and makes efforts to reconstruct and reclaim the ponds. Fishery business also flourishes in Krasocin Municipality, and following spatial management works on overflow wetlands and watermill ponds some reservoirs with an area of about 16 ha were built in Kluczewsko Municipality. Subsequent years were marked by continuous development and improvement of fishery businesses and cherishing related traditions, e.g. passing fishery businesses and expertise to younger generations.

Angling is inseparably connected with fishery history and culture. Angling has always been a part of our lives. Once, it was a source of our basic necessity - food from the nature. Today, it is usually practised as a hobby and leisure activity as well as integrating local communities.

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