Backyard Fish Farming: What I've learned so far....
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Like a lot of Americans, I feared the worst during this Pandemic worrying about our food supply. No one really knew a lot about Covid-19, but we knew thay it was airborne, very contagious, and people were dying - still dying to this day more than ever from it. In the early phase of this Pandemic when everyone was fighting over toilet paper, my thoughts were to raise fish for food. I'm not expert in this field and have absolutely no knowledge about raising fish other than my own personal experience. In fact, the last time I went fishing ...correction, the last time I watched someone fish was 30yrs ago. I have yet to learn how to fish, but it's on my bucket list.
I went online and read a little bit and decided on raising Rainbow Trout to start off with because of it's nutritional value. Do I have a pond? Nope, but I ordered them anyway. How hard could this be? Fish just need water right? I bought a kiddie pool, a small pump for aireation, and a small filter. I treated the water with Start Right and it worked. I knew that Rainbow Trout prefers cold weather, and water that flows like a river so I created a habitat just for them in the square kiddie pool. What I didn't know was that as they grew, they like to jump out of the water so I lost a lot of fish this way. There's not a lot of information I can give other than to make sure there's an air flow, keep the water clean as possible, provide shade and cover by using live plants or decor to keep them cool. Live plants also control the algea and you can also buy a UV light to control algea. The Trout out grew the kiddie pool and I eventually purchased a large above ground pool and transfered them and they were very happy. I covered the top of the pool with chicken wire to prevent them from jumping out. I also use a pool cover for an extra layer of protection from environmental elements. There's original holes in the cover to provide plenty of sun.
I raise chickens and have three greenhouses so I understood that I had to protect the fish just like I protect everything else by securing their environment. In the beginning I wanted to watch the fish grow every step of the way but in time I knew to just create a comfortable habitat and let them live, grow and reproduce. Since, I've added Blue Gill to the 'pond' because they grow and produce really fast. I may not know how to fish, but I'm pretty good with a net. No one can put up signs telling me not to trespass and that the lake is closed. Raising fish in your backyard can be done because I'm doing it. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's possible.