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Fish pond cultivation and fishing in Třeboňsko

This area is the largest producer of fresh water fish not only in the Czech Republic, but in all of Europe. The fishermen in Třeboň manage a total of 378 fishponds, making up an area of 7,426 hectares of water surface. Around three thousand tons of fish are produced here every year. Carp production makes up for 95% of this figure, understandably making this fish one of the symbols of the Třeboň city.

Třeboň - Autumn fish harvest, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o. Every autumn you can witness scenes not unlike from those that happened four hundred years ago on the surfaces of the surrounding fishponds – fishermen filling their nets with fish. The fish round-up is an interesting tourist attraction and also serves as a social event (the schedule of the fish harvest can be found on the internet page of “Rybářství Třeboň”). The store ponds that later hold the fish brought from around all of Třeboňsko can be seen below the dam of the Svět fishpond on the way to the Schwarzenberg Crypt.

10 largest fishponds in the Třeboň area
fishpond area founded
1. Rožmberk 647 ha 1590
2. Horusický 438 ha 1512
3. Dvořiště 387 ha 1367
4. Velký Tisý 313 ha 1505
5. Záblatský 310 ha 1470
6. Staňkovský 272 ha 1550
7. Svět 214 ha 1571
8. Koclířov 202 ha 1495
9. Bošilecký 200 ha 1355
10. Opatovický 165 ha 1367

Now we may introduce the most significant historical figures, thanks to whom the fenland in this area has been cultivated into a complex and elaborate system of water areas connected by the Golden Canal:

Štěpánek Netolický (1460–1539)

The predecessor of Jakub Krčín of Jelčany. He created the well-thought out and ingenious project of the Třeboň fishpond system at the beginning of the 16th century. His most remarkable and most famous work is the Golden Canal, which simultaneously supplies and draws the water from all the main fishponds in Třeboňsko. Not only did he construct the fishponds, but he also exceeded as designer and builder of local burgher houses and military buildings.

The Zlatá stoka (Golden Canal) is the backbone of the entire Třeboň pond system. This artificially created canal is a unique and sophisticated piece of work of Štěpánek Netolický. The canal is 45 km long and its descent is only 32 meters! It starts at the Lužnice River and together with other smaller canals supplies and drains water to and from most of the ponds around Třeboň until it connects back with the Lužnice. The canal was built between 1506–1520 partially using the old canal which used to function as a millrace. The original name of the canal was Příkop (Ditch). Later the Schwarzenbergs started to use the name Golden Canal as a way to express its fundamental economic significance for the local fishpond management.

Jakub Krčín of Jelčany and Sedlčany (1535–1604)

Jakub Krčín was employed into the service of Vilém of Rožmberk in 1561, at that time one of the most powerful aristocrats in the country. Shortly afterwards he became a burgrave to Český Krumlov. and was appointed regent to all the Rožmberk estates in 1569 at the age of 34 due to his tremendous capabilities. He founded breweries, homesteads, and sheep farms, but he spent most of his energy on the completion of the extensive fishpond system in Třeboň. His greatest works include the fishpond Svět, fishpond Spolský and others. In 1584 he began the project which made him famous – the fishpond Rožmberk. Historians describe Krčín as an inconsistent personality. On one hand, he was doubtlessly tenacious and full of good constructive spirit, but on the other hand the buildings were constructed somewhat uneconomically, and his personal life was rather disarranged.

Třeboň - Draining of the Svět fishpond, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o. The original area of the Svět pond used to be 380 ha (now only 214 ha). Because of constant problems with its dam, the pond used to be nicknamed Nevděk (Ingratitude). After the floods in 1611 it was divided into two ponds – Opatovický and Svět. The Svět pond was built by the renowned Jakub Krčín of Jelčany between 1571–1573 by constructing a massive 1 525 meter long dam and then flooding the Svinenské suburbs. After more than 400 years Svět withstood the vast floods in 2002. It contained almost 11 million m3 of water.

Třeboň - Rožmberk – the largest and most famous pond of the pisciculturist Jakub Krčín of Jelčany., photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.Rožmberk – the largest and most famous pond of the pisciculturist Jakub Krčín of Jelčany. Rožmberk is the largest pond not only in the Czech Republic but in all of Central Europe. The pond is so big that the curvature of the Earth can be observed on its surface. The lake has an area of 489 hectares (it used to be even bigger before it was artificially downsized). Its dam is almost 2.5 km long, 11.5 metres high with a foundation of 55 metres wide. The given parameters suggest the structure could be classified as a dam reservoir rather than a pond (there is a small water power plant beneath the dam). The pond is supplied with water from the Lužnice River and the retained volume is 6.2 mil. m3. During the construction of this gigantic pond (between 1584-1590) three quarters of a million cubic metres of soil were removed without any technical devices. The construction of Rožmberk was a reaction to large floods which struck southern Bohemia and even Prague in 1544. The usefulness of the pond and its quality structure was once again demonstrated not so long ago – during the floods in 2002 the dam contained an unbelievable 70 million m3 of water (approximately ten times its normal volume). Although the spillway was damaged, the dam saved the Lužnice River basin from certain catastrophe.