Rainbow trout and Brown trout have been farmed in the UK since the 1950s. Trout go through 5 major stages to become full sized fish; eggs, alevins, fry, fingerlings and finally full sized trout. They start life in hatcheries, and are produced from fish kept especially for breeding.
Once trout grow into fingerlings, they are moved to their final growing environment. Only a small quantity of rainbow trout is farmed in the sea. Most of the rainbow trout and all the brown trout are farmed on land in freshwater ponds, tanks or raceways, which are large concrete pens.
Portion size trout generally reach their harvesting size at 300-400g in approximately seven and a half months. Once harvested, the trout will be processed for use. Larger farms often have processing facilities on site, which contain machinery designed to gut, fillet, smoke and pack the fish, depending on what is required. The trout may then be sold direct to customers at farm shops, or sent to wholesale markets, caterers or retailers.
Read more about the journey trout take from the sea or freshwater to plate.