McFarland Springs Trout Farm (Susanville, Ca)
Sustainably Farmed Trout from McFarland Springs Trout Farm:
We are excited to announce that after much research we have found a small trout farm in Northern California to source sustainable Rainbow Trout from for our Community Supported Fishery (CSF). McFarland Springs Trout Farm is the only trout farm in the world that uses a red-algae based feed that is completely hormone and antibiotic free. This feed is uniquely significant because no natural fish stocks are impacted. In addition, because they are fed red-algae-there is zero trace of mercury or other heavy metals in their fish. McFarland Springs trout are nutritious, ecologically sound and absolutely delicious.
Most fish farms use genetically modified fish which can escape and breed with wild stocks. They feed their fish with feed pellets composed of large quantities of wild fish stocks. The farms crowd two many fish into one space, polluting the water and creating conditions that breed disease which are then passed on to wild populations. These practices are doing irreversible damage to our ecosystems. For these reasons the vast majority of farmed fish should be avoided.
The owner’s of McFarland Springs are breaking the norm by taking the time to ensure that their trout farm has minimal environmental impact. Their ponds are fed from the headwaters of a natural spring and isolated from nearby rivers and streams so there is no impact on native trout stocks. The spring also generates hydroelectric power that runs the entire farm. The water from the ponds is filtered through a meadow, which ensures that excess nutrients do not enter local waterways. Furthermore, all the trout are harvested and processed by hand unlike conventional machine processed methods.
Local wild Salmon populations have been threatened for decades by damming, overfishing, sedimentation, climate change, and demand for fresh water supply. The severe drought affecting the West Coast has only exacerbated the problem. Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing sectors of food production and is an essential component in a sustainable food economy. Supporting ecologically sound aquaculture is key in reducing our impact on stressed wild fish stocks. By supporting sustainable aquaculture, native fish stocks will have the chance to rebound.
In closing, these fish are extremely nutritious. They have higher levels of Omega-3s than local Salmon and with zero trace of Mercury or other heavy metals they are an ideal alternative to native stocks. Our business partner, Monterey Bay Seafood Watch has farmed Rainbow Trout as a "best choice". To my surprise these farmed trout are just as flavorful and delicious as wild trout that I have caught in the high sierras. McFarland Springs Trout Farm is trully the future of sustainable aquaculture and we are proud to support their operation. Keep your eyes peeled for the next "Fish Alert" and try these delicious, nutritious, sustainable trout.
What Friends Are Saying:
“We are beginning to see emerging sciences that will allow us to grow insect and algae based diets for fish farming”, states Bill Foss of TwoXSea. “This type of diet couldn’t make a healthier trout. McFarland Springs Trout marks the movement of farming fish using organic farming techniques, where chemicals are not used and the feed source is a natural component of the diet of the species. Even better, species native to geographic regions can be raised; resulting in a new market for native heirloom trout.”
“This is a very rare and sadly, fairly limited operation. It isn’t something you can scale for a Fast Food Nation, but it is a great example of what we can do when we choose to put the environment above margins.” -Kenny Belov owner of TwoxSea
Links To Learn More:
Major Impacts on Pacific Salmonids:
TwoxSea on McFarland Springs Trout Farm:
Monterey Bay Seafood Watch: