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Fishy question


Nothing to do with wine at all. I’m just cooking some fish which is labelled loch trout.
Is this any different from sea trout? To me it seems remarkably similar, but I’m sure somebody here will know.


Maybe @MarkC? Or @JulianFox May be able to help !?


If its sea trout it has crossed a customs border; if it’s loch trout its proper British hooray


Wild sea trout (there is no other) is essentially a wild brown trout which has migrated to sea, and returns to spawn. It is a delicious fish to eat, but sadly threatened, and indeed all but wiped out in some river systems by the impacts of salmon farming via sea lice. If you buy sea trout, ensure it is tagged as it has to be by law, to certify it has come from a licensed source.

‘Loch’ trout, I use the term advisedly, is I suspect, rainbow trout farmed in a sea loch, and therefore probably also a contributor to the decline of the wild sea trout, despite all the cr@p about sustainability that you see on the label.

Salmon and ‘loch’ trout farming is almost without exception a dirty industry, which has been responsible in part at least, for the decimation of wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in the west coast of Scotland and Ireland. It also has a very high mortality rate, pollutes the seabed and has some very questionable additives to make it look pink or orange (the cheaper stuff!). This is before one mentions the medications which are added to deal with the sea lice problems caused by intensive farming in open cages in salt water. Also, the fact that the feedstock for it depletes the foodchain in the wild which impacts on wild fish and bird populations.

With a very few exceptions, I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole, for all the above reasons. Yet another example of ‘cheap’ food for the masses, which ends up having a much greater cost, but politicians won’t tell you that, particularly SNP ones!! It could be done a lot better, but it would cost a good bit more. Think battery farmed chickens or worse.

Rant over, maybe you wish you hadn’t asked now…


Okay, well, you live and learn! That’ll be a one-off then!


It’s possible that something labelled as ‘loch’ trout might be rainbow trout raised in cages in a freshwater loch, which is marginally better.

It won’t be wild loch trout which would be brown trout, unless it’s from the Lough Neagh fishery in Northern Ireland which is the only commercial brown trout fishery in the UK to my knowledge. Not often seen except in specialist fishmongers.


Thanks Mark. It actually came from Tesco, so unfortunately I suspect the worst!


Probably a good call…it might be worth reading the small print on the label. It won’t be sea trout…though by coincidence I heard yesterday when fishing (!) that some retailers are now calling sea farmed rainbow trout ‘sea trout’.

The top quality farmed fish is ok, but that only constitutes a very small percentage of the total which is produced to a price target not a quality one. Mortality rate is routinely 20%+ and some of them just look rubbish.

A few years ago, I caught an escaped farmed salmon and a wild fish within a few minutes of each other. The former fought like a cement sack, and had ragged fins, was flabby etc. The latter was fighting fit torpedo of a fish which was in pristine condition. Fortunately on the two rivers I fish we get very few escapees, and they are easily recognised and we have a 100% kill policy. Problem is that if you’ve tasted wild salmon you don’t really want to eat most farmed salmon again!


Just “Scottish Loch Trout” - no further info, except “contains fish” which I suppose is slightly encouraging!


thanks for the explanations…
And I thought my Waitrose Alaska wild salmon was ok (the flesh is reddish, not orange with white fat stripes) … :sob: now, I can’t trust anything…


I’m sure they could have tried to get some (sea) horse in there :wink:


I think it should be! Provided it’s from a sustainable fishery. British Columbian one isn’t now…

Too many people to feed…

Doesn’t help that the likes of BBC cookery programmes still prattle on about farmed salmon being a cheap, healthy and sustainable product…


Slightly confused… by ‘them’ do you mean farmed salmon or are you saying wild salmon is disgusting?


It will be the farmed salmon that is horrible. Wild salmon and farmed salmon are like two different species when it comes to eating them.

And, for what it’s worth @MarkC I agree with your every point on this.


Sorry @tom grammatical faux pas on my part there…you don’t want you eat most farmed salmon. Few honourable exceptions…


I have a 2004 vintage list of legal names for fish species from the Food Standards Agency, they don’t seem to have it on their website any more.
It says that:
“Trout or Brown trout” are Salmo trutta trutta (L.) which has spent all of its life in fresh water.
Sea trout or Salmon trout are Salmo trutta trutta (L.) which has spent part of its life in fresh water."
No mention of Loch trout but there are two others:
“Cut-throat trout is Oncorhynchus clarki clarki
Rainbow trout or Steelhead trout is Oncorhynchus mykiss.”


I’ve just got back from my local Tesco Extra where I saw the fish described as “Scottish Loch Trout” on sale.
Underneath the English language name it had the Latin name and it is Oncorhynchus mykiss, thus confirming MarkC’s suspicion that it is Rainbow trout.


I may be an old cynic, but that’s usually the right stance with supermarkets…


Impressed! I also wonder why the FSA don’t have it any more.

Within salmo trutta trutta there are also various sub species such as ferox, gillaroo, dollaghan to name but three. The latter two are Irish.

Ferox are large cannibal trout and are " no braw" to look at as we say. Memorable quote from a ghillie on the capture of one specimen…" Eighteen pun and a face like a bothy cat". I have also heard less favourable comparisons which may have involved politicians…


Following the Fishy question, I’d like to ask a mushroom question!

In my area, 2019 has been an exceptional year for mushrooms. They’ve been strewn all over my garden, the verges and churchyards. But I haven’t eaten any.

Two questions.

  1. How can you tell the difference between an eatable mushroom and a poisonous toadstool?

  2. Could a member of TWS recommend a book, with pictures, that he/she has read to help in my quest. NB Please don’t send endless Amazon links!