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Educational trail Rozmberk Fishpond

Stefan Netolicky

Stepanek Netolicky was one of the greatest Czech pond builders. He started as a forest keeper but in the early 1500s became involved in building fishpond. Impressed by his work, the Rozmberk lords shifted him from the forest work to fisheries.

Netolicky dedicated the rest of his live to pond building. He also improved the theory of fish farming. He showed that large but shallow fishponds optimize fish growth through a better oxygen exchange and higher light availability. In 1506, he designed the system of ponds connected by a web of regulation ditches along two main axes. These axes were the river Luznice and the Golden Channel. This design made a much better water management possible. It also ensured that the water quality was better throughout the year.

Painting by Kojan

Thanks to Netolicky’s work and theories, carp production in the Trebon region rose to around 200 metric tons of carp per year. This level was maintained over the next 400 years. In the 20th century, the focus shifted to raise production levels. In 70 years, the production has increased more than 10-fold, from 250 to 2800 tons of fish per year. This comes to about 1 million fish per year, of which 95% is carp!

Drawing by Jan Kojan

This chase for more fish resulted in levels beyond what the fishponds ecosystem can carry. Both water quality and biodiversity are steadily falling. For a sustainable carp production, the fisheries should lower their production goals. In effect, they should turn back to the principles Stepanek Netolicky laid down half a millennium ago.

GPS position

N 49° 1.935', E 14° 43.730'



Společnost Rožmberk o.p.s.
Olga Černá
Tel.:602 471 653