In this article, we are going to explore all the details of what you need to know about trout farming so as to get started even if you had no prior experience of trout farming.
Overview Of Trout Farming:
Trout farming involves the culture of trout which is a hardy fish breed as such does well under intensive farming environment. But it also means that you will have to provide the best environment possible for the fish to thrive.
Once the trout fish has grown beyond the fingerling stage, their growth becomes very rapid especially under conditions of temperature between 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperatures must not be too low though because If the temperature goes too low, their enzymatic activities are affected resulting in stoppage of growth and reproduction.
On the other hand if the temperature goes higher than normal, the oxygen content of the water will be reduced thus posing a double threat to the trout.
So water condition as well as other factors is a very important aspect of trout farming.
Culture Environment For Trout Farming
Trout fishes are mainly cultured under intensive environment: using ponds, tanks, raceways and, more recently, cages.
The water (plus nutrients and minerals) demand for trout is very high.
Thus you must be ready to provide very good quality water all through the year.
Trout generally are cold water fish and as such, thrive best in cold water environments (between 10 – 18 degrees centigrade).
When the temperature is higher than 22 degrees, you are more likely to experience slow growth rate and reduced feeding among your trout fish.
The temperature factor is one key reason why those living in the tropics might not favour farming this type of fish because of the extra cost that would be involved in keeping the water temperature low.
Trout require high levels of dissolved oxygen and this should remain above 5 to 5.5 parts per million (ppm).
You will need to ensure that high level of oxygen is provided in the water.
You can do this by oxygenating the water, especially during summer months, because high temperatures decrease the level of dissolved oxygen in water causing the trout to become stressed especially during the period of the year.
Trout farming can be done in both freshwater and salt water because, trout fish can tolerate a wide range of salinity and also a PH of 7.0 and 7.5 is good for optimal growth. However, trout can survive in PH range of between 6.4 and 8.4.
You can also culture trout in still-water dams but if it is for commercial use you might need to restrict production in some areas in order to avoid pollution.
Floating sea cages can also been used for raising trout with stocking densities as high as 30 to 40 kg.m-2
Trout is also been cultured in man-made lakes for recreational fishing and the design and requirements of trout lakes
Spawning - Supply of Juveniles - Trout Farming
Normally, in trout farming, if you are expecting your trouts to spawn naturally(during winter months) when kept in culture system, you may have to wait forever because they never do so.
You will need to do this artificially from a hatchery or you can collect eggs from wild stocks.
But this may not be advisable if you want to breed pure trout.
The reproduction of trout, includes control of spawning, induction of spawning, stripping, fertilisation of eggs, egg incubation and larval rearing.
Diet and Feeding - Trout Farming
In trout farming, the first thing you should know is that Trout are carnivorous fish.
But when temperature is above the normal range, feeding almost ceases and growth rate declines expectedly.
Trouts are fed using Pelleted diets.
From experience, leaner fish fed at a lower ration level cope far better with high summer temperatures than generously fed fish.
Also if your feed is low in protein or are poorly digestible diets, feed conversion ratio may become very poor resulting in growth decline.
If you operate a large trout farming, it will be more beneficial to use mechanical demand feeders to distribute the trout feed. You can also do hand feeding especially if you desire to observe the stock for demand feeding.
Growth - Trout Farming
If you operate a trout farming these 3 factors will determine the growth of your fishes more than any thing else:
- water temperature,
- nutrition and
- genetic factors.
Therefore you should make sure you purchase good quality fingerlings from the hatcheries while making sure that you provide optimum temperature and nutrition.
Common Diseases and treatments - Trout Farming
As seen in any intensively grown livestock, trout are susceptible to diseases.
Two very common diseases you may notice are:
- "Red mouth" because of its major symptom and
- "bacteria gill".
If adequate care is not taken, “red mouth” can wipe out more than 30% of your stock.
They are both hatchery diseases, so it pays to keep different batches of fingerlings separated in order to prevent healthy fish from contracting the disease.
Fortunately, red mouth can be treated by mixing a small dose of Tetramycin in with the feed, whereas the general cure for bacteria gill is to give the fish a salt bath! If the trout are left in a 30% salt solution for about 30 minutes, they'll come out with clean gills.
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Would be good to hear from any fish farmer that is experienced at trout farming.
Trout Farming - The Basics
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