When you think about trout, you probably think immediately of a group of anglers around a pond in the Ardennes. But when we talk about farmed trout, you have to be mainly in France where you can find trout farms in almost every French province. Mostly located in a quiet natural environment. In addition to a farm, these places mostly offer ponds where you can fish for recreation. Very popular among the French.
The trout is a freshwater fish and family of salmon. In the wild they usually live in strong running and clear water. Trout is mainly a carnivore. In nature he feeds on worms, insects and sometimes with small fish. Trout has been cultivated for more than a century now, including for expansion in rivers, lakes and ponds to keep the stocks up to standard for sport fishing. Fishing for trout is very popular with anglers.
Close to my parent’s house in France you’ll also find such a trout farm: Pisciculture de Monchel Nord. A place where I used to go a lot with my brother and sister when we were young. Because besides a farm, there are ponds where you can fish, there is a playground and we always bought ourselves a delicious ice cream. I can tell you that may not sound very exciting, but as a child we saw this place as the biggest attraction of the village, after all, it is also the only attraction that can be found there. Anyhow this trout farm was and still is a favorite place for many tourists and locals. And even I still like to visit this place and to introduce my daughter to this popular phenomenon in France.
Upon arrival, the Pisciculture de Monchel Nord is not only clearly visible, you can also hear it from a far. Because of the clean flowing spring water and the spacious basins, a perfect living environment has been created for the fish. The trout is a relatively easy fish to grow and of course very tasty. The farm mainly breed rainbow trout. These grow quickly and are edible at 1 year (450gr) but you can also let the fish overwinter and grow on till 2 years.
The trout farm breeds from egg to fish. It is nice to see how they work. All trouts are weighed and measured and are placed into the right basin where they belong. Some of them are immediately ready for slaughter. There is also a shop at the entrance where you can buy smoked and fresh trout and accessories for fishing.
Behind the trout farm you’ll find several ponds where you can fish all day. These ponds are intended for the recreational fishing sport. Keep in mind that you must book your place in advance. If you just want to catch a fish in a short time to bring home for consumption, than you can use the small pond at the front of the trout farm. You can get a rod, the bait and a bucket of water in the adjacent shop.
After a successful catch, we return proudly to the store, where an employee of the farm will clean the fish. Our lovely fishes are ready to prepare for the smoker.
That same evening our smoked trouts lay beautiful on the plate, perfect rose and full of flavor.
Pisciculture de Monchel, 52 rue de St Pol, 62270 Monchel sur Canche, T: 03 21 47 94 95, www.pisciculturedemonchel.com