Nature has endowed Sikkim with distinct advantage of abandoned water bodies and varied aquatic life. The establishment of Fisheries in the State was a wing in the Forest Department in the late 1970s was a great milestone and it was the primary driving force for realizing the high potential of Fisheries Development in the State.

Initially the development programme initiated by the Fisheries wing under the Forest Department was mainly on conservation of riverine fish species and development of sport fishing. In the later years, with the upgradation of Fisheries establishment from a wing to divisional level and then to circle level and finally to Fisheries Directorate level in the year 1995, the strategy of Fisheries Development Programme changed from conventional policy to promotion and development of Fish Culture as an income generating activity in the rural areas.

Since 1995, the approach to Fisheries Development was given a new direction and the conventional programmes were revised with the following mandates.

  • To increase fish production/productivity from all culturable water resources.
  • To protect and conserve riverine fisheries resources.
  • To undertake breeding programme of Carp, Trout and Mahaseer fish for stocking in ponds, raceways, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.
  • To promote game fishing for tourism.
  • To promote commercial farming of rainbow trout in high altitude areas.
  • To promote Aquaculture by providing technical and financial assistance to the farmers and unemployed youths.

The Directorate of Fisheries under the administrative control of Secretary, Department of AH, LF & VS has been working hard for sustainable development in Fisheries Sector by way of motivating rural mass through subsidized beneficiaries schemes in limited area pond culture practices for uplifting the socio-economic condition of the rural people and also supplement their protein requirement upto certain extent with an aim of fulfilling the objective of food security mission of the country.

Activities of Fisheries Directorate :

The Directorate of Fisheries undertakes the following activities:

  • Trout Culture Programme :
    There are six trout hatcheries set up in the state for Brown and Rainbow Trout seed production. Rainbow trout seedlings so produced are for distribution to the beneficiaries for culture in their private raceways where as brown trout seedlings produced from Menmoitso and Lachung trout hatcheries are stocked in natural water system for the promotion of angling and to increase trout production. During the year 2015-16, 1.23 Lakhs of Brown Trout green ova and 1.34 Lakhs Rainbow trout green ova was stripped in the government farms. So far 249 beneficiaries have been given financial support under the scheme of trout culture in raceways. The district wise and year wise details of the beneficiaries are given below.


    Year wise and district wise beneficiaries covered under trout culture in raceways scheme:
    Year District Total
    East North South West
    2009 - 10 15 12 5 21 53
    2010 - 11 30 20 20 36 106
    2011 - 12 7 10 8 15 40
    2012 - 13 4 11 --- 5 20
    2013 - 14 8 7 8 7 30
    2014 - 15 --- --- --- --- ---
    2015 - 16 --- --- --- --- ---
    Total 64 60 41 84 249


    With increase in the number of trout growers the production has risen sharply in the past few years. In the year 2008-09 trout production in the state was negligible which has increased to 110 MT in the year 2015-16.


    Rainbow Trout Seed Production cum demonstration Farm,Maneypong, Uttarey, West Sikkim
  • Carp Culture Programme :
    There are six carp seed production farm set up in the state for the production of quality carp seed for distribution to beneficiaries and to stock in village ponds and other different resources of state. Financial assistance has been provided to 1416 beneficiaries under Running Water Fish Culture scheme. The district wise and year wise details of the beneficiaries are given below.


    Yearwise and districtwise beneficiaries covered under running water fish culture scheme :
    Year District Total
    East North South West
    2008 - 09 22 22 18 17 79
    2009 - 10 81 59 89 121 350
    2010 - 11 97 59 75 76 307
    2011 - 12 60 40 40 60 200
    2012 - 13 90 50 80 80 300
    2013 - 14 60 22 39 59 180
    2014 - 15 --- --- --- --- ---
    2015 - 16 --- --- --- --- ---
    Total 410 252 341 413 1416
  • Propagation of Mahseer:
    One mini Mahseer farm has been established at Bagua in South Sikkim with the objective to produce Mahseer seeds and stock them in the river system for promotion and motivation of the anglers.
  • Conservation of Riverine Fisheries Programme:
    The Teesta & Rangit rivers form the major riverine systems in Sikkim. There are 48 indigenous species of fishes in the river system. The most important species are Mahseer, Snow Trout and Cat Fishes. The total length of riverine system is 900 KM producing 120 tonnes of fish annually by catch. Sikkim Fisheries Act 1980 is enforced to check the illegal fishing. For this purpose at present there are 20 Fisheries Guards, 9 Head Fisheries Guards, 8 Block Officers & 4 Range Officers who have been deployed to control illegal fishing activities in the State.

Ongoing Schemes :

  • The Directorate of Fisheries is establishing one trout hatchery cum farm at Denga, Lachen, North Sikkim under BADP scheme. The capacity of the Trout hatchery is 4.5 Lakhs green ova and 3200 kgs of Trout fish per year. The work is under progress and is expected to be completed in the next financial year.
  • Strengthening of Database and GIS for Fisheries Sector (100% CSS) :

Under the Strengthening of Database and GIS for Fisheries Sector (100% CSS) programme one Assistant Director and two Field investigator have been appointed who are collecting all the required information regarding Fish production, seed production and water bodies through GPS in each district on the basis of “Inland Catch Assessment Survey Software” and development of GIS. On the basis of the information from field staff quarterly fish/ seed production data are sent to Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi.


The year wise details of Fish Production (Trout, Carp & Capture) is as follows


Financial Year Fish Seed Productions (in millions) Trout Fish Productions(in Tones) Carp Fish Production(in tones) Capture Total Fish Production (in Tones)
2010 - 11 3.00 10 50 120 180
2011 - 12 3.60 50 110 120 280
2012 - 13 2.10 90 184 120 394
2013 - 14 2.05 110 185 120 415
2014 - 15 2.00 100 180 120 400
2015 - 16 3.55 100 180 120 400



Raceways of Shri Samdup Bhutia, U. Sreebadam, West Sikkim

Shri Samdup Bhutia resident of Upper Sreebadam, West Sikkim, is one of the farmers who availed all the benefit under trout schemes implemented in the State. He started Trout Farming in the year 2012 by constructing a trout raceway using only 30m2 of land. He was given financial assistance for construction of one raceway of size 15m X 2m X 1.5m along with the first year inputs (seed and feed).
With the profit earned during the first harvest he constructed one more raceway. Now he is earning around 2.5 Lakhs rupees annually by selling fresh trout produced from his raceways. He feels encouraged with the outcome and is planning to culture trout at larger scale in the future


Trout fish produced from the raceway of Shri Sandup Bhutia


From the year 2015-16 he has also started operating a small hatchery for production of trout seed. He had maintained 50 nos of broodstock which was bred to produce around 15000 numbers of fingerlings. He stocked around 4,000 fingerlings in his raceway and distributed the remaining seed to the surrounding farmers.



This is one of the success stories of trout farming in private sector in the state for the year 2015-16. There are vast cold water resources in the state which are virgin and still unutilized. Directorate in future is planning to take up these areas for promoting trout farming in private sector with the view to further increase trout production in the state.