Idrija fishing association
The crystal-clear Idrijca River with its numerous tributaries offers an ideal natural habitat for fish, which is why the Idrija and Cerkno region boasts a long, rich fishing tradition. The oldest records on fishing in these parts appeared in medieval land registers around 1300, and the first written fishing rules were laid down in the Mining Rules of the Idrija Mercury Mine as early as in 1580.
For several centuries fishing was the privilege of feudal lords, in Idrija of the mine administration, and from the mid 19th century to the Second World War fishing was under the authority of the forest administration. The fish population in this area was often a victim of the harmful consequences of mining activities, timber floating and severe floods. In order to ensure continued reproduction, the first fish farms were established before the First World War. At that time about 500 kg of fish was caught each year. Idrija’s first fishing organization was established in 1947 and was initially comprised of 49 members. As fishing gradually became increasingly more popular in the decades that followed, the number of members in the Idrija and Cerkno region rose to over 400 fishermen,
including some 70 juniors. On its 50th anniversary, the Idrija Fishing Association now joins 2 % of all Slovenia’s fishermen and is undoubtedly one of the most successful fishing associations in the country.
Among the primary activities of Idrija’s fishermen are extensive and well-planned fish farming and breeding, as well as the yearly repopulating of water streams. The first fish farm was opened in Idrija soon after World War II. In 1956 a new, enlarged fish farm with a annual capacity of over half a million fish spawn was opened. In the period from 1986 – 1992, a modern fish farming complex comprised of fish ponds, a hatchery and a multi-purpose fishermen’s home was constructed in Srednja Kanomlja above Spodnja Idrija. A million spawn can be produced here each year, and a large fish population is bred and released into protected breeding streams. Young fish of adequate size are later released into fishing waters. Several species are bred, primarily brown trout, rainbow trout, grayling and, more recently, the precious marble trout, an autochthonous fish species of the Soca River basin. The total catch in record years rises above 20,000 fish with a total weight of close to 8,000 kg.
Fishing in Idrija’s waters offers visitors a genuine experience in unspoilt natural surroundings, a healthy way of spending their leisure time, an ideal holiday and relaxation. Fishing is not only an obsession of the association’s members, but is becoming an increasingly more desirable sport attracting numerous domestic and foreign visitors, primarily from neighbouring countries. The Idrija Fishing Association sells around 1500 fishing licences each year to visitors from abroad.
Our fishermen are devoting tireless endeavours to preserving the breathtaking natural environment in the picturesque Idrija region located at the meeting point of the prealpine and Karst worlds. They are fighting a constant battle against negligent littering, depositing of wastes and water pollution, regularly organize cleaning campaigns along river banks, and strive to arouse ecological awareness. Thanks to their efforts as well, this part of Slovenia, reputed for its rich natural and cultural heritage, is becoming an increasing more attractive destination for numerous visitors from other parts of Slovenia and European countries.