Idaho trout sales up 14 percent
By RODNEY D. BOAM
Sherman Wright, who owns Wright’s Rainbows, Franklin County’s sole commercial aquaculturist, said 2012 wasn’t a banner year for his certified disease-free trout. But it wasn’t a bad year either.
He has raised and sold his fresh-water rainbows to restaurants for years. However, as his children grew up and found other employment, Wright started looking for other, less labor-intensive ways to market his fish. He’s been in the business 22 years.
As he began to look for additional ways to sell his fish, he found what he was looking for. There was a good demand for recreational fishing and he went after it. Last year he sold fish to ponds in Arizona, Utah and California.
“I have people call me and tell me they like the Idaho-raised trout I stock their ponds with. I’ve met some good people over the years,” he said.
The Thatcher rancher gets eggs from a commercial egg producer and hatches them. Then he sells them to owners of fishing ponds. Some of his rainbows need to be shipped in the winter. A customer in Yuma, Ariz., has a pond that can only be stocked in the colder months. The warm summer days bring water temperatures too high for the fish to survive.
Some years Wright will sell everything he has and then has to wait until some of his other fish get big enough to stock area ponds and lakes. Write sells more than fish. He sells experiences.
“My goal is to get fathers, grand fathers and boys to fish together. Some guy will call me up and tell me about the big brown he caught on the river when he was a kid. I tell him the brown isn’t there anymore, but the experience of catching a fish still is. It’s a wonderful thing,” he said.
He went on to say what a great thing it is for a young boy to be taught how to fish by his grandfather or father.
This story is sponsored by Valley Wide Coop.
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