Friday, August 19, 2022

Two lakh Himachal trout ova to be dispatched to Sikkim

IANS | December 22, 2021 12:00 PM

SHIMLA: The first consignment of 2,00,000 rainbow eyed trout ova, the cold-water species introduced by British India in Himachal Pradesh during colonial times, will be dispatched to Sikkim for rearing this week and later the remaining 3,00,000 will be sent, state Fishery Minister Virender Kanwar said on Wednesday.

Trout -- both brown and rainbow -- are found in the Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers in high-altitude lakes and streams. Being a game fish, the brown trout is also an angler's delight.

The Fishery Department annually stocks 80,000 to 1,00,000 brown trout fingerlings in nature across the state. The first consignment to Sikkim will be sent on December 24.

Currently, 17 lakh rainbow trout ova are being reared in hatcheries in government farms in Patlikuhal, Batahar and Hamni in Kullu district, Thalla, Bhandal and Holi in Chamba district, Barot in Mandi district, Sangla in Kinnaur district and Dhamwari in Shimla district.

The trout, introduced to the region by the Britons in 1909 to encourage sports fisheries, is one of the healthiest in the world because of oxygen-rich and glacial-fed streams.

Later, the transfer of technology for trout farming under the bilateral India-Norwegian Trout Farming Project has paved the way for its commercial farming largely in the private sector -- a major economic activity.

The state is investing to develop fisheries infrastructure by providing incentives under the centrally sponsored scheme on blue revolution. In 2017-18, 15 trout hatcheries were sanctioned in the private sector.

At present, 32 trout hatcheries have been set up with an investment of Rs 875 lakh. In this fiscal, five more hatcheries would be set up in Sirmaur, Chamba, Kinnaur, Shimla and Mandi districts, said the minister.

Smoked, baked, grilled or fried, the trout never disappoints the palate.

Trout farming has emerged as a major economic booster in the state. More than 1,200 trout units have been constructed involving 600 farmers.

As per government estimates, the private hatcheries are annually generating an economic activity of Rs 30 crore and providing employment to approximately 1,000 people.

Kanwar said in this fiscal there is a target of production of 632 metric tonnes of table-size trout. It is mainly marketed in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

For attracting the anglers, especially foreigners, the department has established angling huts. The department also organises angling competitions. Some 10,000 anglers have visited the state in the past three years.

Himachal Pradesh with its five rivers, numerous streams and reservoirs has a big potential for fish production, say experts. It has two types of fisheries -- warm and cold water.

Of the 3,000-km network of fisheries' water resources, 600 km of cold water streams are conducive for trout farming.

Besides the trout, the major fish species available in the state are mahseer, barilus and glyptothorax. Two new species -- Hungarian common carp and Amoor common carp -- have been imported.

The successful production of Hungarian common carp has been achieved at Ghaghas in Bilaspur district.

A trout fish farm generates 213 days of employment in a year and provides 41 per cent of the average household income, say studies.

The trout is a freshwater fish of the Salmonidae family. Of the 15 species found globally, brown and rainbow trout are found in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The British introduced the trout to promote angling. At that time, fingerlings were released in various streams and multiplied.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at

Have something to say? Post your comment