Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Short Story

Putting aquaculture at the heart of Tirschenreuth’s identity

The Tirschenreuth FLAG region may have a long history of small family-owned aquaculture ponds but aquaculture did not always have the standing it enjoys today. The thousand-year-old tradition was almost forgotten when the FLAG took action to restore its cultural significance in the area.
We realized that one way to redevelop the local area was to revitalize aquaculture, make it a core part of our identity and harness its tourist appeal. People had forgotten about this unique feature of our region.”
Hans Klupp, FLAG President

The FLAG launched various projects with local fish farmers, restaurant owners, schools, businesses and other active locals to make aquaculture central to the area’s development, identity and tourism industry.

The Phantastic Carp Trail
The words ‘colourful’ and ‘cheerful’ don’t typically come to mind when imagining carp but the Phantastic Carp Trail has turned the plain carp into beautiful art sculptures. The FLAG teamed up with a local fine arts teacher to create the sculptures and launched the project with a competition for artists and school children to decorate them.  Each fish sculpture is decorated in a unique design and can be found around the area’s historic centres and unexpected places alike. Locals and tourists have made it their mission to find and photograph each one as they discover the region. The Tirschenreuth FLAG area also includes two fish-themed playgrounds – significant Axis 4 projects for the FLAG President who wanted the local children to grow up in the world of fish from a very early age.  

Guided tours
Thanks to the “certified pond guide” training courses funded by the FLAG, there are now around 20 tour guides helping tourists experience the work life of fish farmers and understand the importance of traditional aquaculture. A family of local aquaculture farmers subsequently opened their farm to tourists. Visitors can enjoy guided tours, stay in the new guest rooms and sample local fish dishes served in the new restaurant on their grounds. The owner plans to build a pond treehouse where guests could stay for a nature adventure experience.

Other FLAG projects to promote the area’s aquaculture include the Stairway to Heaven viewing tower, carp festivals, an interactive digital museum and other art installations, along with significant promotional material. Projects such as these have helped aquaculture become a core part of the area’s identity, earning Tirschenreuth the well-deserved name of the Land of a Thousand Ponds.

Timeframe of implementation

  • The Phantastic Carp Trail with playgrounds: 2009-present
  • Guided Tours: 2013-present


Total project cost of the Phantastic Carp Trail with playgrounds: €177 600

  • EU contribution (EMFF): €79 900
  • Other public contribution (Bavaria): €79 900
  • Private contribution: €17 800

Total project cost of the Guided Tours: €9 700

  • EU contribution (EMFF): €3 900
  • Other public contribution (Bavaria): €3 900
  • Private contribution: €1 900


Contact details

FLAG Contacts

Mr. Fabian Polster
+49 9631 88426
Publication date: 
PDF Version