In a first, Himachal rears trout in warm water
The department of fisheries in Himachal Pradesh has successfully reared high-value “trout” in warm water in Gobind Sagar reservoir and Kol dam reservoir of Bilaspur district.
For the first time, about 500 fingerlings of Rainbow trout, a coldwater fish from the Dhamwari trout farm in Rohru subdivision of Shimla district, were stocked in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) nets at Gobind Sagar reservoir in 2019 on experimental basis.
The results were highly encouraging and worth emulation in other parts, said Virender Kanwar, minister for animal husbandry and fisheries.
After much research and development, experts also installed 24 fish cages for Rainbow trout in Kol dam reservoir at Kasol on pilot-basis under CSS-Blue Revolution in 2020.
Showed accelerated growth in warm water
Around 30,000 fingerlings of the average weight of 10-12 grams of Rainbow trout were stocked in September and October 2020 in Kol dam. The results of this experiment were encouraging as the fish gained a body weight of almost 1kg in just eight months, which usually takes two years or more in coldwater regions, thus showing accelerated growth.
The successful experiment has paved a way for culturing the trout fish in warm districts also when the water temperature is congenial, the minister said.
Trout available for discounted rates
Kanwar said the department produced around eight metric tonnes of trout fish from Kol dam with average weight of 300grams while the maximum weight of 1kg was recorded. Out of the total fish produced, around 490 fishes, weighing around 224kg, have been sold in the market so far. The department has a stock of around 26,794 fish, weighing around 8,000kg, at its Kol dam reservoir, ready for sale in the market.
The department has offered one-time relaxation for sale of trout fish at discounted price of around ₹350/per kg instead of the market price of around ₹550/per kg to boost the trout fish sale in the state and metropolitan cities, he said.
Approximately 850 metric tonne trout will be harvested in the state both in private and government sector, out of which 100 metric tonne will be harvested in newly created race ways in coming years. There are around 12,347 registered fishermen operating with 3,000 fishing boats whereas 5,574 households are directly dependent on fisheries as the main source of income.
One ice plant and three landing centres have been constructed under blue revolution in the state for fish growers and more post-harvest facilities will be developed under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampda Yojna in the state in coming years. Earlier, the trout was being reared in 600 kms riverine length at higher altitude of cold-water streams in snow-fed rivers of Beas, Sutlej and Ravi.
The state has recorded 688.05 metric tonnes trout fish production valuing ₹3,096.22 lakh during the year 2020-2021 while a target has been set to harvest 849.70 metric during the year 2021-22.
In order to develop basic infrastructure for fish cultivation, 29 hatcheries, 13 feed mills, three retail outlets, smoked trout canning units, trout cage culture are being developed in the reservoirs Blue Revolution scheme.
There are eight departmental trout farms where quality seed is being produced and supplied at subsidised rates to trout growers. Trout feed is also provided from departmental farm Patlikuhal district kullu, said Kanwar.