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Old 19-04-2010, 07:20
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Default Farmed sea trout ?

A cookery article in the Sunday Times yesterday explained that "Though wild sea trout is increasingly scarce, farmed fish is now available".

Does anyone know if this is true ? I've never heard of farmed sea trout before.
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Old 19-04-2010, 09:19
 

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Yes....

In Tasmania at least, rainbow trout are farmed in huge saltwater cages up to a size of 16 lbs. They are called "sea trout" because they are reared in the sea and actually taste better than normal rainbow trout reared in freshwater.

There are many escapees from these farming operations that run the Tasmanian rivers, creating what can be called an artificial form of "steelhead".

I witnessed one of these saltwater trout farming operations in a trip to Tasmania last year.
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Old 19-04-2010, 09:26
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Closer to home you can check out:

Graig Farm Organics - What We Offer > Our Range > The Fishmongers > Organic Farmed Sea Trout

These are proper Brown Trout born in Scottish trout farms that are taken to the sea site and grown-on from there.
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Old 19-04-2010, 12:37
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And when they escape en masse (which they will, just as farmed salmon always do, in their tens of thousands) they will run up nearby rivers, breed with remnant wild sea-trout stocks and very quickly s-c-r-e-w up their ancient genetic lineage, rendering them no longer river-specific and often unable to prosper for very long in the wild - just as farmed salmon have done the world over. I knew some guys who were paying $6,000 to & $7,000 per rod per week in Iceland (without flights, cars, tips etc) some years ago. They arrived to fish a pre-booked peak-time week, only to find the lovely river concerned absolutely clogged with ragged-finned escapee salmon from fish cages that had broken up during a storm in a nearby fjord. Ruined that river for years. Gamefishing-pet-hate-wise, salmon-farming is up there in my top five, so too are today's celebridee chefs.
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Old 19-04-2010, 12:55
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Thank you all for your advice. It seems that farmed sea trout are reared for culinary purposes rather than for sport.

I wonder if they actually taste any different to farmed browns and rainbows ?
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Old 19-04-2010, 15:51
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Paul,

I wonder exactly what ancient genetic lineage still exists as far as seatrout are concerned? In England there have been brown trout stockings of farmed fish originating elsewhere (Loch Leven trout being a good example) for over a hundred years. These stocked fish have been diluting local stocks for a very long time and breed with seatrout as a matter of course.

So do 'wild' seatrout still exist in the UK? Or is their gene pool as muddled and muddied as the 'wild' brown trout pool? Even non stocked streams like the Corfe river would get influence from other local stocked rivers like the Piddle and Frome.

I'm as against the sea farming of salmon and seatrout as you because it is destroying the wild populations.
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Old 19-04-2010, 21:02
 

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And so am I Mark.

During the time of the great British Raj, the numerous acclimatisation societies throughout the Empire introduced brown trout to rivers in Australia (including Tasmania), South Africa, Kenya, India, Pakistan, The Falklands, New Zealand, and I believe southern Argentina. In countries which bordered the sea, and which were cool enough, some brown trout became anadromus and migrated to the sea.

The Eerste (First) river which enters the Atlantic near Capetown, did for a period, have a run of seatrout. Unfortunately due to pollution from wine farms, the trout stopped running. Brown Trout stocked into rivers in the Falklands, Tasmania and New Zealand did become anadromus.

The evolution of the trouts is quite fascinating. They were a result of the melting of the glaciers at the end of a great ice age. They were cold water fish with a penchant for migrating to the oceans.
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Old 19-04-2010, 22:12
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Not to mention Chile - browns from the U.S. (via Germany) about a century ago; rainbows from the U.S. (some of which went to sea and eventually became the 22-pound "steelhead" (sea-run rainbow) that I had on single-handed fly in the early '00s. Then there were the farm-escaped Atlantic salmon and Chinook Pacifics... I had one of the latter, a fish of forty or so that I had spotted so far up a Chilean river it was in the Argentine Andes, on once. It spooled me.
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Old 20-04-2010, 07:06
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I had a fly casting lesson from an instructor/guide, Jim Currie last month. He'd just returned from leading a trip after sea trout in Southern Argentina. From what I remember the trout were averaging about 8lb each, and at the peak of the season they can be caught up to about 20lbs. He also said it was blowing a gale for most of the time they were there.

I believe the sea trout's origins in the country can be traced back to imports of live brown trout from Europe.
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Old 20-04-2010, 08:30
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Yup. I spent twenty-one months over several years fishing for those beasties. The stockings of browns (and rainbows) were made in Argentina from around 1900 onwards through to 1935 when browns were introduced to the island south of the southern Patagonian mainland, Tierra del Fuego. Most of the trout stayed put as resident browns and rainbows (and brookies), but in some rivers they headed out to sea and returned in spectacular fashion as runs of fully wild, magnificent sea-going trout. They can run huge: I have had a 29.5-pounder myself and once helped a local spinfisher I had encountered on a Tierra del Fuego river land (and persuade him to return alive) a 38-pounder - sea-trout!
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