District has been declared as a tribal district where ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research (DCFR), Bhimtal has been assigned to play a vital role in improving socio-economic status of the tribal populations of this harsh agro-climatic region. Topographically, the whole of the district is mountainous with three parallel ranges of the Himalayas, the Zanskar, the Ladakh and the Karakoram. Most of the population lives in valleys of the Shayok, Indus and Zanskar rivers. The main occupations are cultivation (37.92%), agriculture labour (4.28%), household industry (1.24%) and other works (56.56%).
DCFR initiated highland trout farming programme under Tribal Sub Plan during 2013-14. A detailed survey was conducted to identify the suitable location for trout farming and beneficiaries to develop raceways for trout culture and propagation in collaboration with High Mountain Arid Agriculture Research Institute, Leh (HMAARI, SKUAST-K) and RRS, CAZRI-Leh. The trout culture programme was initiated in Chushout Shamma village of Chushout block, during October 2013 which is about 20 kilometres from the Leh district head quarters and located near the bank of a tributary of River Indus at 3280 meter above sea level which is a perennial source of water. Initially five (5) new raceways were constructed and three (3) raceways were renovated belonging to four beneficiaries of the village.
The seed of rainbow trout was released in the raceways ten thousand trout seed of average weight of 10 gram were stocked and trout feed was also distributed to the beneficiaries. The programme is catching up fast in the region and five new raceways are being developed belonging to four women farmers. The support from DCFR is helping livelihood enhancement in the region.
(Source: DCFR, Bhimtal)