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Cold Fresh Water Fish (Trout, Sturgeon, Salmon)

What’s important for cold water fresh fish?  

  • High water quality 
  • Appropriate location 
  • Sufficient tidal movement (if cage farming) 
  • Having strong smolts  
  • Stable environmental conditions  
  • Correct water temperature 

Common challenges 

For trout:  

  • Rainbow trout fry syndrome (RTFS): This is a serious bacterial disease with high mortality rates, typically occurring in the spring when temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). 
  • Maintaining optimal water quality: Water quality is the most important factor affecting fish health and performance. 
  • Preventing pathogen introduction: This can prove especially challenging in relation to transport and fingerling intake. 

For sturgeon: 

  • Fat infiltration in the ovaries: This can lead to poor fish quality and a decreased quantity of caviar. 
  • Time: It can take up to 10 years to achieve stable production of caviar. Water quality, temperature and feed must be optimal to ensure steady growth and optimal reproduction. Growth and disease challenges can be extremely costly.

For salmon:

  • Sea lice: Sea lice can cause physical damage and stress to the fish and adversely impact growth and performance.
  • Stress: This can be a result of vaccination and may cause inflammation.
  • Seawater transfer: Seawater transfer is stressful, as fish go from freshwater or water with low salinity to full-strength seawater. Feed intake is also often negatively impacted after fish are transferred to seawater.
  • Winter ulcers: This disease can be acute with a high level of mortality. If an individual fish species survives an outbreak, it typically develops scars, which will result in a decreased quality assessment when sent to market.

Tips for maximizing health and performance 

  • Implement good biosecurity practices 
  • Regularly test water quality 
  • Choose high-quality fish feed 
  • Focus on gut health and antioxidant protection