Although trout is farmed all year round, the trout season for anglers in the UK begins around mid-March to early April. Dorset is home to one of the most productive fish farms in the country. Allenbrook Trout Farm which backs onto the River Allen near Wimborne St Giles, supplies hundreds of tonnes of live trout to anglers, fisheries and other fish farms around the UK every year. Nicky Findley went behind the scenes to find out how they do it: By his own admission Trevor Whyatt is mad about fish. He’s either breeding them, feeding them, catching them or eating them.

For when he’s not taking care of the many thousands of trout at the farm, he loves sea fishing for sea bass and cod.

Trevor started work at Allenbrook in 1981 as a farm hand, and within ten years he was promoted to manager.

“Our fish get the best of everything,” he says proudly.

“We aim to give them the best quality environment possible and the freedom to behave in a way they would in the wild, because a happy fish is a productive and economic fish.”

The trout are in freshly pumped, oxygen-enriched water sourced from the River Allen, that is so clean Trevor reckons he could bottle it and sell it.

No wonder he practically has them eating out of his hand. As soon as he approaches one of the 14 ponds on the farm, the water starts churning with a flurry of fish tails.

“There are about 4,000 in this particular pond,” he says scattering pellets of fish food across the surface.

Trevor has to live on site because it is a 24/7 job.

“It is quite labour intensive – there is always something that needs to be done. We don’t make huge amounts of money but it is a very interesting job, particularly when it comes to breeding fish because you have to get involved with genetics to keep the strain healthy. You get a lot of satisfaction from producing good quality, strong, aesthetically pleasing fish.”

The farm, which breeds brown trout and rainbow trout, produces around two million eggs per season which are hatched in carefully controlled lighting conditions.

Last week Trevor and his co-worker vaccinated by hand 60,000 juvenile fish in one week.

The farm even has raceways to keep the fish fit.

“We use these for small fish to keep them fit as it mimics the upper reaches of river with shallow fast running water.”

He adds: “We are just replicating what happens in the natural world but on an industrial scale.”