Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood
Fish Breeding Industry
Fish Breeding Industry.
In the pretty suburb of Opawa, ten minutes' walk from the Railway Station, on the banks of the Heathcote River, is situated Trout Dale Farm, the fish breeding establishment of Mr Johnson, where fish of all ages may be seen—from the just hatched troutlet to six year old speckled beauties, who, when on the feed, show their activity and sport-affording abilities to fine effect.
The varieties of fish kept for breeding purposes are the English brown trout, American brook trout, American salmon, Loch Levin trout, perch, tench, and gold and silver fish.
The spawning season of the trout and salmon commences from May, and from that month up to September eggs of the fish are sold at a moderate price per thousand, and sent to distant parts of the colony packed in ice and moss; the American. trout and salmon spawn, however, earlier than the English, and these eggs are all hatched by July.
A novelty has been introduced in the packing of the eggs, with a view to stocking distant rivers inaccessible to the transport of live fish, and consists of specially made wire boxes in which the eggs are packed, and which are suitable for being placed in the bottom of a stream, the young fish wriggling their way out of the boxes as soon as they have absorbed the umbelical bag.
A brick hatching-house has recently been erected, containing the most approved modern appliances, where accommodation for hatching out 80,000 eggs can be provided, and where an aquarium for salt water is in course of construction, with a view to facilitating the artificial propagation of salmon.
Young trout are sent out in suitable apparatus at a moderate price per hundred, and special arrangements can be made for forwarding live fish to distant localities without risk or loss to purchaser.
Trout from 1lb. to 5lbs. are sold during the summer for table purposes. The active, quick-growing American "sahno fontinalis" being highly esteemed, but even this has been surpassed by a cross obtained between the English and American variety. The various ponds and water races are tastefully laid out, and embellished with a choice and varied assortment of beautiful aquatic flowers.
Bee culture, on the superior American system for the production of comb honey in section boxes, is also carried on, and the flower borders are gay with shrubs and flowers, chiefly selected for their honey-producing qualities.