The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum 1792) is undisputedly the most widely introduced and cultured salmonid fish across the globe. It is an extremely popular food and sport fish that thrives in highly oxygenated cold freshwater, which is naturally abundant in the mountainous regions of India. It was introduced in early 20th century during the British colonial rule for developing recreational fisheries. However, over the years, the exotic rainbow trout has become the most relevant and remunerative coldwater fish farmed in Indian uplands garnering more significance as a source of employment and food security. The biological characteristics that make rainbow trout truly appealing for aquaculture are rapid and high growth potential, ease of captive breeding, robustness of fry at first feeding, ability to withstand high density culture conditions without compromising with growth and welfare standards. Based on these advantageous traits, concerted research and development efforts to expand and intensify rainbow trout production in India is continually undertaken by the ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research in partnership with concerned Fisheries Departments of trout producing hill states. In this milieu, the present article aims to inform the readers about the scientific progress made in rainbow trout farming and draw attention towards a meaningful outlook concerning the challenges towards its production enhancement.
A K Singh*, Biju Sam Kamalam and Prem Kumar