Trout & Steelhead
Rainbow trout and steelhead are America’s fish, one of the few fish raised both domestically and in the wild, indigenous to the streams and lakes of California. We want our fish to develop as closely to California’s wild trout as possible. So we bred them to be that way by patiently applying trial and error until we arrived at a fish that thrives in our natural, mountain environment. Our Mt Lassen California Trout & Steelhead have been supplied to lakes and recreational fishing programs around California for most of our existence because fishermen love our wild-looking fish. And chefs love that our fish arrive in their kitchens in as little as 24 hours out of water. California’s local trout and steelhead producer.
What makes Good Fish
It’s all about texture, that firm, satisfying mouthfeel. That comes from breeding, observing the fish that thrive in each generation, taking those top performers and then breeding then again taking the best of the best. But you have to breed them to the environment.
We do that and in doing so we have created a fish that thrives in this environment.
The second thing that’s important in making a good fish is of course the water. We go to the water, not the other way around. That is, we site our farms in several locations around Mt. Lassen to be where those natural mountain springs emerge. Our fish are raised in a higher velocity of water than most anywhere – it produces a more muscular, a more vigorous fish.
What else is important? That you rear your fish in as natural environment as possible. Well our fish are native to California, they’re found in the mountain lakes and streams around our great state and I guess rearing our trout in our earthen ponds and raceways here near Mt. Lassen in Northern California makes our trout and steelhead as natural a fish as you could hope for.
Our fish start with our broodstock but they begin life as an eyed egg in our hatchery. They’re nurtured there in our hatchery until they’re ready to go into our land-based farms. Then they spend two years in as natural an environment as possible, our earthen ponds and raceways where they grow to maturity as a 3 year old, muscular, wild-looking trout and steelhead.
No one else in the world has this strain of fish. Each generation we take the top performers, the best of the best. And having done that for so long, what we have done, is we have created a fish that thrives in this environment.
Every fish we raise to maturity is an offspring of our own broodstock. Hardy fish that produce other hardy fish.
Those broodstock are an offspring of their ancestors. And those original generations were chosen because they were the top performers. Every fish was selected to thrive in this environment. It’s a more muscular, more vigorous, more wild looking fish.
We do our best to feed our fish as natural a diet as they would have in the wild within reason and so we do not use any growth hormones or preventative use of antibiotics.
In the wild, trout and steelhead are carnivorous. They eat other fish and they eat insects. We try and mimic our fish’ diet as closely to their wild, natural diet except for the insect feed (there really isn’t
a commercial available supply) and we try and reduce the use of wild fish meal and oil as much as possible. So we substitute some of these ingredients and use domestic plant proteins, added vitamins and micronutrients and some land animal proteins.
When our fish are young they get a higher level of proteins in their diets. As they mature we reduce the protein component and increase the plant component.
Lastly, we add an antioxidant called astaxanthin that gives our fish a beautiful, rich red color and for consumers, those healthy omega 3s.
We produce two products, that’s it. Whole, head on, gutted fish.
Skin on, pin boned fillets.
Head on Gutted Whole Fish: For the chef who wants to see the whole animal, who wants to see what 3 years of rearing looks like and wants to butcher her own fish, we provide head on gutted whole fish.
For those chefs who want their trout and steelhead to be pan or grill ready, we provide skin on fillets with the pin bones removed.