Carp have been bred in the fresh clear water of more than 1,000 ponds and lakes in the Waldviertel since the Middle Ages.
Their slow growth, determined by the climate, plays an important role in the quality of the fish which are characterised by their firm white low-fat flesh. Waldviertel carp are fed exclusively on locally produced grain and reared under species-appropriate conditions. The numbers of fish per pond or lake are limited. Carp breeding has become an important source of income in the Waldviertel - approximately 500 tonnes are bred here each year making the Waldviertel the largest carp-breeding region in Austria.
As Waldviertel carp are high in essential vitamins, amino acids and minerals and low in fat and cholesterol - they are even said to reduce cholesterol levels - this fish is a light easily digestible yet high-quality food. Carp can be bought either whole or filleted ready for use. As they are practically free of bones when skinned, Waldviertel carp can be used in a wide variety of tasty dishes.
During dry-fishing season, you can discover the carp side of the Waldviertel. The annual dry-fishing of the ponds is a genuine tradition in the region.
In the autumn, fish are thrashing around in and around the carp ponds in the Waldviertel. The ponds are dry-fished or as the locals say "the ponds are boiling".
Around the time of the Austrian National Holiday in October, the water is drained out of the ponds. The carp raised in them is then gathered up using huge regular nets and scoop nets and put in wooden sorting containers. The nets are dragged through a few times until the pond is empty. Of course there are a wide variety of carp specialty dishes to sample on site during this spectacle.