Domesticated Trout – WHEN the writer of the following pages asked Seth Green, in 1866, ” how many of those who engaged in trout breeding would succeed,” he answered, with his well-known quickness of manner, ” One in a million.” There was so much wanting.
* How fully the word ” domesticated ” will finally apply to trout that are bred and grown artificially, time alone can decide.
It is still a very doubtful question whether they will ever be- come so accustomed and attached to the habitations of man that they will prefer to remain around his homes and under his protection, like dogs and fowls, and so become in the strictest sense domestic creatures.
Still, this result is not impossible, perhaps not improbable.
Cattle and horses become as wild as buffaloes and deer when left to run wild long enough. Artificial influences have given these creatures their domestic habits. Why may not a A sufficiently long course of similar influences creates a similar change in the habits of trout.
Trout are not naturally averse to man in their primitive wildness, before they have learned to fear him. I have seen wild trout in the uninhabited forests of New Brunswick as little disposed to avoid man as sheep in a pasture.
Why, then, may we not, by taking away their fear of man through domestication, restore that time, in the knowledge required to ensure success, that Mr. Green’s reply was hardly an exaggeration.
Since that time, however, the whole aspect of the matter has been changed, and the care and study bestowed on the subject have evolved a set of rules and principles, the careful observance of which will render a degree of success almost certain.
I think it may safely be said that the time has come when trout can be hatched, reared, and brought to maturity in great numbers and with comparatively little loss ; and I think it is also safe to say that success in raising the fish will of necessity be accompanied by pecuniary success while the present relations exist between the prices of trout and the cost of the food on which they are reared.
Again, I have at my ponds trout that were hatched from parents that were themselves hatched there artificially. Now, it may have been wholly a fancy, but there has seemed to me to be a difference between these fish and the offspring of wild parents in respect to shyness, and that the artificially hatched progeny of domesticated parents was less shy than the artificially hatched offspring of wild parents.
If this is so, and the trout show an improvement in one generation, what may we not expect of fish in which domestication has been hereditary for many generations.’
The time may come when continued domestication, together with the overcoming of their fear of man, will so modify the present action of their instincts, that, when pains are taken with the domesticated trout, they will prefer to seek the shelter and food which they find around the homes of men to the precarious chances of a wild and roaming life. This may not be probable, but I do not think it is impossible.
I do not wish to be understood, however, in saying that following certain rules will ensure success, that a mechanical adherence to rules will make anyone succeed.
On the contrary, to raise trout successfully demands a vast deal more than that. It requires not only the ordinary force, foresight, and tenacity of purpose requisite to success in any business, but also, in an unusual degree, constant vigilance and caution, and that peculiar blending of insight, skill, and precision which makes a successful sportsman, and which seems to be a gift, rather than an acquirement.
I do not say that without these qualities a degree of success may not be obtained, but for the best success these traits are indispensable.
You can see at once why this is so. In the first place, the trout breeder has to deal with the most elusory, the most treacherous and capricious thing in the world, namely, running water.
To make running water go as you would have it and where you would have it, from one year’s end to another, through all the vicissitudes of weather of the four seasons, including the extremes of frost and heat, freshet and drought, is a task the difficulty of which only those know who has tried it.
Then it must be remembered that your charge is a wild creature, which has never been domesticated or taught domestic habits, and everyone knows the vast difference in the difficulty of the work between the rearing of wild and domesticated creatures.
Furthermore, the trout lives in an element not yours, but foreign to you, and one which you can never by any possibility learn the nature of by living in it yourself-, and lastly, in the earlier stages of its growth the developments and functions of the trout and the progress of its diseases are almost or wholly microscopic, —all of which considerations call for a peculiar watchfulness and skill.
But though so much is required for great success, it is also true that the knowledge which has now been gained of the art will enable most persons to raise trout with very gratifying results, and almost any one in a favorable locality can raise trout enough to feel rewarded for his pains.
Here’s What’s Included
The Principle of Security.
Selecting the Water.
Chapter 2. Ponds.
Roller Spawning Box
Inlets and Outlets.
‘Chapter III. Buildings
The Hatching House.
Chapter IV. Hatching Apparatus
The Supply Reservoir.
The Filtering Arrangements.
The Distributing Spout.
Hatching Troughs, or Hatching Apparatus.
Placing the Hatching Troughs.
Laying the Gravel.
And Soooo… Much More!
392 Pages of Absolutely Rock Your World Information on Domesticated Trout