200,000 Kashmir trout ova dispatched to Sikkim

Srinagar: The trout farm at Kokernag in south Kashmir, one of the largest in Asia, has dispatched two lakh trout ova to Sikkim for rearing, officials said.

The department of fisheries supplied a consignment of 200,000 eyed ova of rainbow trout to Sikkim on Saturday through the Directorate of Cold Water Research Centre, Bhimtal (ICAR).

“The rainbow trout is a cold water fish which could be reared for commercial purposes under natural conditions between 0-20 degree celsius, easily accepts pelleted feed, has fast growth rate and is resistant to diseases,” said chief trout farming project officer at Kokernag, Mohammad Muzaffar Bazaz.

“This is the reason that the directorate of Bhimtal recommends Kashmir trout more than any other place where it is produced,” he said.

This is the second time this year that the Kashmir trout has spread to other parts of the country. In the second week of January, 500,000 trout ova were dispatched to Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Uttarakhand for rearing.

Brown and rainbow trouts are cold water fish that were introduced in Kashmir over 100 years ago.

The farm at Kokernag uses scientific methods and modification in feed formulation along with technical knowhow of the staff for raising the fish from green ova to table sized fish and then produce brood used for seed production.

“The techniques and equipment used for rearing trout fish are unique,” said another official, Syed Manzoor Ahmad.

Spread over 20 hectares, the farm was set up in 1985 with support from the European Economic Committee. It started with a single hatchery which has now been upgraded to three hatcheries that supply millions of eyed ova and seeds to beneficiaries, including private fish farmers.

Kashmir has two types of fisheries – warm and cold water. “For trout culture, the temperature shouldn’t exceed 20 degrees Celsius. Brown trouts are in abundance in the upper reaches,” Bazaz said.

Kashmir is also known as an anglers’ paradise. Tourists, particularly foreigners, head for high-altitude water bodies as brown trout is found in high-altitude lakes and streams. (HT)

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