Shimla: Trout fish farming that because of disease had all but collapsed a few years ago is on a comeback and the state recorded a production 67 tons in 2007-08 of which 52 tons was contributed by the private sector.
A fishery department spokesman stated that overall fish production, which included cold water trout and the catches made in warmers zones had increased by 350 tons over the previous year and had attained a production of 7337 tons, valued at Rs 37 crores in 2007-08.
A multi-pronged strategy has been able to arrest the downfall in fish catches, he said.
The state three reservoirs have made a mark by producing highest fish production per hectare as compared to the other reservoirs in the country.
Despite harsh eco-climate conditions in the year gone by, fish seed production had crossed the 20 million mark.
Cold water stream in the higher altitudes were aptly suited for exotic trout like rainbow trout fish and in warmer waters of the lower zones the Golden Mahseer fish thrives.
Commercial fishing was a source of livelihood for people living in the periphery of Gobind Sagar and Pong Dam reservoirs.
For increasing fish production, plans to develop a Rs 5 crore Mahseer fish farm at Badon in Jogindernagar and a Rs 2.5 crore trout farm on the bank of river Tirthan at Hamini (Kullu) are underway.
Besides over 42,000 hectares of back waters in the reservoir Gobind Sagar, Pong Dam and Chamera the state has over 3000 kms of river length that is rich in fish fauna.
There are 19 registered co-operative fishermen societies in the state, which are promoting fish farming.
The government is providing free insurance cover of Rs 50, 000 to the licensed fishermen and there are about 11 thousand fishermen families in the state.