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Author Topic: Back in the trout farming business!  (Read 844 times)

taxid

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Back in the trout farming business!
« on: Apr 14, 2022, 09:17 AM »
Took a break for a year or so, as thanks to Covid and rising shipping costs, the market growing out trophy size brooks, browns, tigers, and steelhead for the taxidermy market hasn't been too hot or profitable. In some cases the shipping is almost as much or more than the listed fish price, to ship frozen fish in insulated boxes in three days or less! Needless to say that won't work as a business model. And the shippers are using Covid as an excuse if the box arrives late.

I just put in over 600  ~ 5 inch rainbows for a wholesale market where I grow then to about 12 to 15 inches by November and they will be sold to a pond manager and consultant to be planted into recreational ponds to be caught in the fall, winter, and spring. No shipping and contact with customers. Just growing them out.

Now the challenge is to keep the Great Blue Herons at bay (I used to get a permit from the Feds to take them out but prefer not to do that).  I just put up an electric fence around the pond and we shall see how it works. It's not powerful enough to be lethal but it should get their attention. I have had up to three of them checking out the property in one day. With 100 lakes in the county and another 100 in the next county they are very common.



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rgfixit

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Re: Back in the trout farming business!
« Reply #1 on: Apr 16, 2022, 05:20 AM »
Nice! Gotta feel pretty good to make the ponds productive again.

The golf course I work at is called Blue Heron Hills….for obvious reasons. It’s basically built around a series of swamps and ponds. Herons are everywhere. The other day when I was out mowing greens I saw the first Egret of the year. There’s generally a few around.

I’ve been studying the area to find the heron rookery but haven’t located it yet. Gotta be there somewhere.
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taxid

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Re: Back in the trout farming business!
« Reply #2 on: Apr 16, 2022, 07:05 PM »
Nice! Gotta feel pretty good to make the ponds productive again.

The golf course I work at is called Blue Heron Hills….for obvious reasons. It’s basically built around a series of swamps and ponds. Herons are everywhere. The other day when I was out mowing greens I saw the first Egret of the year. There’s generally a few around.

I’ve been studying the area to find the heron rookery but haven’t located it yet. Gotta be there somewhere.

Funny story: A prof I knew in the aquaculture field had a wife that wanted to raise fish. She had a property all picked out near a river. She asked him to come out and see if he thought it was a good location. As soon as he got there he told her, "This is not a good location." "Why not?" she asked. "Look over in that direction through the trees. It's a Heron rookery."
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meandcuznalfy

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Re: Back in the trout farming business!
« Reply #3 on: Apr 16, 2022, 07:09 PM »
Nice, better than having a bunch of empty ponds.

taxid

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Re: Back in the trout farming business!
« Reply #4 on: Apr 16, 2022, 08:07 PM »
Nice, better than having a bunch of empty ponds.

Will be hatching bluegills this year and possibly holding broodstock smallmouth bass from Dale Hollow Reservoir (where the world record smallmouth was caught) for a friend that wants to start producing smallmouth bass next year. He plans on digging a lot of ponds this fall on his property, and has a friend near Dale Hollow hence why he'll try to collect broodfish there.

There is a big shortage of fish for stocking ponds and has been for a couple of years.
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fish/hunt4ever

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Re: Back in the trout farming business!
« Reply #5 on: Apr 17, 2022, 08:13 AM »
Sounds like a good deal you have going, know of a couple fish you sold to some taxidermist, one my coworker bought from you and it turned out great

taxid

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Re: Back in the trout farming business!
« Reply #6 on: Apr 17, 2022, 11:23 AM »
Sounds like a good deal you have going, know of a couple fish you sold to some taxidermist, one my coworker bought from you and it turned out great

 :thumbup_smilie: I've shipped my fish from coast to coast including once to Hawaii and Alaska.

One of the other downsides to growing the trophy trout was the taxidermists want primarily male fish. With all the trout, except the browns, I have to feed them for a year before I can sex them and cull out the females. So I'm wasting feed for a year on the females. I could make them all males by mixing in methyl testosterone in their feed when they are fry, but need permission from the feds to buy and use it. Their answer is no, never mind it's routinely done with tilapia for the table as the males grow bigger and faster. And my fish weren't produced for consumption! And it's not like the testosterone stays with the fish.

Not trying to be negative but running a business has it's pros and cons and you have to adapt and go with what makes money and stop doing what doesn't. It can be a challenge but stimulating at the same time.
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taxid

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Re: Back in the trout farming business!
« Reply #7 on: Apr 18, 2022, 12:44 PM »
The herons have homed in on my trout pond. I did put in an electric fence around it, but woke up one morning to one standing on the floating fish pen I had in the pond that has about 70 in it for health testing in a month. He couldn't get into the cage due to a cover, but he was hoping to nail some around the pen. May have as I don't know how long he'd been there. And I have one that stands on the pier where I feed the largemouth, yellow perch, and bluegills in another pond.

I decided to remove the floating pen and release the 70 into the pond as there is no need to provide a fishing platform for the heron.  I should be able to seine out the required 60 for the vet when he arrives to take samples.

People who don't raise fish have no idea what expenses we have to deal with. The vet is $200.00 per hour and his milage. This does not include the overnight shipping of samples and testing done at a lab in Maine. I could use Purdue University here in Indiana, but don't have much trust in them. Aquaculture is not a priority at Purdue.

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fish/hunt4ever

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Re: Back in the trout farming business!
« Reply #8 on: Apr 18, 2022, 09:11 PM »
Those herons sounds like a major problem, I know the farmers around here hate the sand hill cranes as they eat a bunch of grain out of their fields. The eagles are also a problem at times killing pets and big game in some areas. I guess I should have went to vet school to make the big bucks. Wow 200 an hour that seems like highway robbery.

 



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