Unfortunately, common carp has been added in the list of invasive species in Spain. That means that if somebody is fishing in the river Ebro and catch a common carp, they are supposed to kill it!
Additionally to catfishing, we also enjoy fishing for common carp
Although we specialize on catfishing in the river Ebro, we worry about all fishes, especially the ones found in the Ebro river so we feel the need to fight for their ecological and recreational importance. We are disappointed that common carp are now considered invasive species since they have been living in the Ebro river for more than 2000 years in the Spanish peninsula.
While I do enjoy catfishing in the Spanish river Ebro, I also love fishing for carp and it would be such a sad thing to put an end to this precious species. Being required to kill a species would put an end to the sport fishing principle of capturing and releasing it back to the river Ebro.
Quite honestly I don´t think the authorities have thought this through, people come to the Ebro River, Spain from all of the world not only to catch Wels Catfish but also Mirror and Common Carp which grow to enormous sizes in the hot climate, thus raising millions for Spanish economy through tourism.
I wonder if they have ever carried out a census on the number of fishing licences issued to foreigners, I believe the majority of people who come to the Spanish river Ebro area would be to catfish or fish for carp, how would the economy be impacted by this?
Carp have been living in the river Ebro for centuries
Carp were introduced to Spain by the Romans in the 3rd century AD to provide a food fish for their army and the masses. Back then they were not regarded as an invasive species but a blessing by people needing another source of nutrition. And the local fishermen still take carp out of the Ebro River and probably everywhere else in Spain as a food fish, and that’s is fine. However to say you must kill every carp caught would stop every course angler I know from coming to fish in Spain, or they would simply carry on as normal by weighing the fish, photograph them and put them back in the water.
In fact looking at the list of fish the authorities would like to see in the Ebro River there would not be much left that anyone visiting Spain would want to fish for recreationally.
Catfishing in the river Ebro: what does the future hold?
I really worry about what the future brings to the Ebro river and its anglers. Many people don´t even know that the Ebro River was commercially fished for Sturgeon around 50 years ago, one was caught of the jetty here in the Ebro river in Bitem that weighed around 4 pounds, it is the only one that we have heard of being caught in the river in recent years. So why do the Sturgeon not run up the river to breed anymore? the reason is that the river is no longer suitable for them to breed, the riverbed used to be covered in large boulders where Sturgeon lay their eggs, this is no longer the case as the riverbed is now covered in silt and shingle.
So if the authorities want to wipe out all the fish that anglers come to Spain to catch, why don´t they clean the river up on the Lower Ebro, making it suitable for Sturgeon and restore proper boat lanes while they are doing this, making the river more boat friendly.