Meet Craig, the man behind the delicious trout in your Fishbox.
Craig runs the Delfour Fish Hatchery located on the Alvie Estate, Cairngorm National Park, the only Scottish fishery located in a National Park. The hatchery’s main function is to breed trout for restocking lochs and rivers all over the country for fishing, a practice which aids ecosystem conservation. Craig is an aquaculture specialist, and his hatchery is acknowledged for demonstrating the highest standard of fish welfare.
The hatchery produces different varieties of trout such as Rainbow and Scotland’s only native species, the Brown trout. Brown trout is one of the rarest trout species, so you won’t find it in your local supermarket! There are only a handful of Brown trout hatcheries in the UK. This is because our native fish is much harder to farm that it’s American cousin, the Rainbow trout. Typically British, the Brown Trout is more reserved and takes twice as long to grow to market size. However, it is worth the wait, and the time and dedication Craig puts into slowly nurturing each fish means that the trout you get in your Fishbox is some of the finest in Scotland.
On a typical day Craig can be doing anything from checking fresh water oxygen levels, to raking the autumn leaves off the protective screens. The busy season begins again in February/March when the estates and angler clubs put in their orders. Craig puts quality over quantity, ensuring his farms are never over crowded. This gives his trout a high quality of life which is stress free. The low temperatures in the Cairngorms means that the trout grow slower than average, but this unrushed maturation produces a fine product.
What do you most enjoy about running the hatchery?
‘Seeing the eggs develop is very rewarding. As they grow they need to be fed 24 hours a day and require constant cleaning and care. But by the time they’re 5g (size of a fingernail) they can start to be graded, and you get an idea of what quality of fish you are producing. The fish then take 2-3 years to grow to market size, it’s a long process but at the end it is rewarding to see that I have produced a high grade, quality product for customers.’
How do you feel now that people all over the country are getting to try your fish through Fishbox?
‘Very happy. When I used to do the farmer’s markets I met lots of foodies, and they are a really great bunch of people. I think it’s fantastic to see the passion and enthusiasm the Fishbox customers show by sending in their recipes and pictures. I’m happy that I can offer them a lovely, fresh product, and I look forward to see what creations they come up with!’
‘It’s also nice to hear what people think about my product. Unless they’re an angler, many people may never have tried Brown trout before, so it’s great to hear when people love it.’
The fish we receive from Craig is always of the highest standard, arriving fresh at our doorstep on the same day as it was caught, ready to be packed and sent straight to you. So if you have ever been put off trout after trying a greying supermarket fish, try some of Craig’s fresh trout instead by selecting ‘love’ in your preferences, you won’t be disappointed.
To find out more about Craig and Delfour Hatchery visit
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