Starting a business in aquaculture can be lucrative and rewarding for the entrepreneur who is organised, patient, willing to take the time to research his products and enjoys hard work. Starting a trout farm business is a challenging endeavour that requires extensive knowledge about trout, their ideal habitat and breeding patterns. Before you begin, start with a business plan.
Learn everything there is to know about the specific breed of trout you intend to farm, including their breeding habits, ideal environment, cost to procure and average sale price.
Find a suitable habitat for your trout farm that can sustain the amount of fish you intend to have. To breed, trout require cool running water. Your trout farm should be situated near a spring, well or stream with a water flow of at least 350 gallons per minute (forf a small operation) or 1,000 gpm (for a large one). Trout are cold water fish and generally thrive in temperatures between 1.66 and 23.8 degrees C, depending on the species. Keep water temperatures low by maintaining or creating natural shading.
Get licensed. The Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency regulate aquaculture. Contact each to learn the requirements for water quality, wastewater, disease control, pesticides, feed, fish shipment and food safety, as well as to obtain your permits.
Hire a licensed contractor experienced in developing fish farms to help you develop your land, spring-fed ponds and picnic areas. Implement a system for keeping your ponds clean. If you intend to raise trout, you will need to construct a hatchery, since trout generally won't breed in ponds. You'll also need to learn the best process for spawning your fish and provide incubation systems for your eggs.
Purchase a combination of eggs and adult fish. Trout eggs take years to mature, however they are significantly cheaper than purchasing fish. Find the right combination of adult trout and eggs for your budget and business needs. Ensure that your eggs are certified disease-free. Procure a commercial vehicle and supplies for transporting the fish.
Market your trout farm. Contact grocery stores and restaurants. Open your trout farm to customers and allow them to fish in your ponds. Offer grills, gazebos and picnic tables.
Don't exceed your natural resources by having more fish than your environment can sustain.
Tips and warnings
- Don't exceed your natural resources by having more fish than your environment can sustain.