Trout farming becomes major economic booster in J&K

Trout farming becomes major economic booster in J&K
Highlights

Introduced by a Scotsman in the Kashmir valley 118 years ago, trout farming has become a major economic activity with the establishment of 533 units in the private sector

Introduced by a Scotsman in the Kashmir valley 118 years ago, trout farming has become a major economic activity with the establishment of 533 units in the private sector apart from trout beats set up in 142 rivers, streams and lakes of the State.

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has recorded nearly 600 tonnes of trout production in the last financial year. "J&K has setup 533 units of trout farms in private sector.

There are 59 trout rearing units and hatcheries", Director, Fisheries department of J&K, R N Pandita said. Not only this, trout farming has been practised in over 142 rivers, streams and lakes in Jammu and Kashmir.

"There are about 150 fishing beats spread over 40 streams with an aggregate length of 500 km, besides, there are 12 high altitude lakes ranging from 8,000 feet to 12,000 feet above the sea level having Brown Trout," Pandita said.

The first batch of trout ova of 10,000 eggs arrived from the UK in 1899 with the courtesy of Duke of Bedford, to whom the Kashmir Maharaja presented an excellent Kashmir stag trophy through Sir Adelbert Talbot, British Resident at Srinagar.

Initially, seed farms in Kashmir were established and trout beats were established in streams such as, Lidder, Sindh, Ferozpur nullah, Madhumati, Kishenganga nullahs, Chenab and other streams of Jammu province.

Many lakes and springs like Gangabal, Verinag were also used to stock trout fish. The trout fishing of Kashmir had become a great tourist attraction by twenties and thirties of the last century, the The department under takes brood stock management to achieve better fertilization during spawning.

"These two projects have the capacity to produce more than 3 million eggs per year. The department has established a network of 59 trout rearing units and hatcheries across the state and, more units are coming up," Pandita said.

The beautiful geographical variations of Jammu and Kashmir, along the course of each river and lake, offer endless possibilities for anglers, he said.

"The various waterways, crisscrossing the State, are important fishing retreats rich in trout. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is known as a paradise for fishing enthusiasts", he said.

Anil Bhatt

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