A relatively new supplier, ChalkStream Farm’s Rainbow Trout are really proving to be a big hit with customers. Slow grown over 2 years, these beautiful, lean, well-muscled fish are truly exceptional and have totally changed everyone’s perception of the humble rainbow.
Built on the sites of old water mills ChalkStream® has the only farms on the Test and Itchen Rivers producing trout. Ninety-five per cent of the planet’s supply of pure chalkstream water exists only in southern England and it is the quality of the water that gives these trout their unique fresh, clean taste. True chalkstream rivers are fed exclusively by springs emerging from chalk downland. Rainfall filters through the chalk bedrock to emerge gin-clear and full of minerals and nutrients, to create a unique habitat. The Test and Itchen are the two most iconic chalkstreams in the world flowing through some of Southern England’s finest countryside before entering the Solent.
The quality of the fish produced at ChalkStream® is directly related to the quality of the water and the high flow rates of the farms. The mill races provide a huge volume of water allowing the fish to grow in a constant current that mirrors their natural river environment. Unlike the earth pond system of most freshwater farms, the fish are grown in custom designed hard sided and gravel bottomed tanks and raceways to create the cleanest possible growing conditions. Being land based, the farms are able to share the water while remaining fully separated from the chalkstream rivers. This minimises the risk of escapees and ensures that clean water is returned to the rivers, avoiding the health and environmental issues related to sea and loch reared fish.
The fish are grown to the highest standards of welfare, food safety and environmental and ecological care. Each farm has a small and dedicated team, who are all qualified in aquaculture. The artisan-led approach ensures the fish are nurtured from hatchling to harvest using the best quality diet and highest standards of husbandry.