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In a first, trout reared in Himachal warm waters

The trout, both brown and rainbow, found in rivers and streams in higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh has been reared for the first time in warm waters of state's Gobind Sagar and Kol Dam reservoir too, Fisheries Minister Virender Kanwar said here on Saturday.

Updated Jul 03, 2021 10:48 AM

In a first, trout reared in Himachal warm waters

He said 500 fingerlings of rainbow trout, a coldwater game-fish species, were stocked in the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) floating fish-culture cages in Gobind Sagar reservoir in Bilaspur district in 2019 on an experimental basis for diversification of trout culture in warm waters of the state.

The results were highly encouraging and worth emulation in other parts of the state. This paved the way for culturing the trout fish in warm districts during a span of five-nine months when the water temperature is congenial for its culture, the minister explained.

Accordingly, the state Fisheries Department installed 24 fish cages in the Kol Dam reservoir in Bilaspur district for the culture of the rainbow trout on a pilot basis under the Central government's Blue Revolution scheme in 2020.

Around 30,000 fingerlings of the average weight of 10-12 grams were stocked in the cages in September and October last year.

"The results were encouraging as the fish gained a weight of almost one kg in just eight months. Normally it takes two and a half years for a trout fingerling to gain such weight in coldwater regions, thus showing accelerated growth," said Kanwar.

The history of trout in Himachal Pradesh dates back to the colonial rule. The British introduced trout in 1909 to promote game fishing.

The trout -- mainly the brown ones -- is currently found in a 600-km stretch on the Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers in the upper Himalayas where no other fish species survive because of the extreme cold climate.

The Pabbar stream in upper Shimla, the Baspa in Kinnaur district, the Uhl in Mandi district as well as the Beas river and its tributaries in Kullu district support good populations of trout.

According to the fisheries department, the entire Kullu Valley offers one of the best spots for trout fishing in the Beas and its tributaries -- Sarveri, Parbati, Sajoin and Phojal.

As per the department, eight metric tonnes of trout was harvested from the Kol Dam reservoir with average weight of 300 grams and the maximum weight of one kg.

Out of the total fish produced, 224 kg has been sold in the market so far.

The department has total stock of 26,794 fishes, weighing around 8,000 kg, at the Kol Dam reservoir ready for harvesting.

The department has offered one-time relaxation for sale of trout fish at discounted price of around Rs 350 per kg instead of the market price of Rs 550 per kg to boost the trout fish sale in the state and metropolitan cities, said the minister.

Approximately 850 metric tonnes trout fish will be harvested in the state, both in private and government sector, out of which 100 metric tonnes will be harvested in the newly created raceways in coming years.

The state has recorded 688.05 metric tonnes trout production, valuing Rs 3,096.22 lakh, in 2020-2021, while a target has been set to harvest 849.70 metric tonnes trout during 2021-22, said Kanwar.

There is 3,000 km riverine length in the state out of which 600 km riverine is utilized for the trout fish production.

At present 606 families are associated with the trout fish farming and its production is being done in total 1,198 raceways.

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