Srinagar: South Asia’s largest Trout fish farm establishing at Kokernag Spring is a huge attraction for conservation and breeding of Trout Fish and is throwing up new job opportunities to the jobless youth in the area. This famous water spring that originates at the foothill has zero bacteria water which is beingfully utilised for fish breeding for which a hatchery has been set up in the area. The mission for fish breeding started at Kokernag in the year 1984 after experts found water of Kokernag Spring fit for conservation and breeding of Trout Fish.
“Every year between November and February green eggs are obtained from Trout Fish in this Farm and after passing through various stages, these eggs take the shape of larvae after 21 days and then after 51 days take the shape of fish. After this they are given feed. After remaining in the Circle Tank and the Marble Pond, each of these fish weighs 5 grams. Then with care they are taken in reservoir. After gaining the weight these fish are taken to sale centres to make them available for general public”, said a group of local youth engaged in fish breeding in Kokernag.
The locals says that with the arrival of winter, people move to these sale centres to purchase trout fish , adding that , at the Kokernag Sale centre people are seen in flocks, purchasing Trout fish. “Former Deputy Director and the incumbent Joint Director Bashir Ahmad Bhat after taking the charge of the Farm has taken some initiatives for improving the production and quality of fish in the farm”, said the locals while acknowledging the initiatives of the Joint Director, adding that “ the incumbent Deputy Director Fisheries Trout Farm Kokernag Mohammad Muzafer Bazaz too haS played a key role in the development of the Farm”. Bazaz when contacted said that some 550 families from Kokernag and its adjoining areas are associated with Trout Fish business and are earning their livelihood. Interestingly the youth from these families were jobless prior to taking up the job of fish farming in the area. The incumbent Deputy Director has advised all those uneducated unemployed youth who want to earn their livelihood to come forward and take advantage of schemes launched by the govt .