High-altitude lakes in the Himalayas stretching across Himachal Pradesh will soon become breeding grounds for arctic charr and lake trout that are in high demand for cuisines.
The fisheries department is roping in Norwegian companies to stock genetically improved species of trout and charr that can thrive in placid high-altitude lakes.
The fisheries department had drawn a proposal to add genetically improved trout fish in lakes in Pangi, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti.
"High altitude lakes in the state are congenial for breeding of some exotic cold water fish species," principal secretary, fisheries, Tarun Shridhar told the Hindustan Times.
Director, fisheries, Gurcharan Singh recently visited Norway to study new technologies being adopted to promote fish farming.
"We have asked the Norwegian embassy in India to tie up with internationally certified companies for promoting fish in high-altitude areas," added Gurcharan Singh.
"Species of arctic charr - cold water fish - will be brought from Denmark," he said, adding that recently about 2,000 common carp fish was added to Deepak Tal in Spiti, while 8,000 fish was added to a lake in Sisu in Spiti.
It was in 1980 that the fisheries department aiming to promote commercial fish farming introduced the rainbow trout in different rivers across the state, which included Baspa in Kinnaur, Teerthan in Kullu and Beas and Ravi river.
The population of Rainbow carp in different rivers remains low due to inbreeding problems. The fisheries department is now seeking expertise from different institutions to promote rainbow trout population in the state.
The government has further decided to construct more fish farms across the state on analogy of the existing in Patlikuhl in Kullu district.
Soon, a high-level delegation will visit Kashmir to study the design and functioning of trout farms and hatcheries. Non-availability of trout feed is one reason that is apparently hampering the trout fish farming in the state.
The government has decided to set up more feed mills and evolve cheap pelletised feed with locally available ingredients in collaboration with the Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR), Bhimtal.
In view of poor growth rate due to genetic degradation of mirror carp, main cultural fish in semi-temperate waters of the state, the fisheries department decided to replace it with quick growing disease-free strain like Hungarian strain of common carp and build a rich brood stock (Brood Bank).
Aiming at species enhancement of culturable fishes, more fish species in coldwater would be screened in order to test their amenability of survival, growth and propagation in coldwater pockets of the state with the help of DCFR.