To the Editors of the New York Times

Subject: Response to the April 10, 2015 Opinion by Douglas M Thompson

From: Sean Nepper, President, United States Trout Farmers Association

On behalf of the membership of the United States Trout Farmers Association I would like the opportunity to respond to the April 10, 2015 opinion by Douglas M Thompson. The trout farming industry in the United States has operated for nearly 100 years in many states. The farm gate value of commercially raised trout is approximately $100 million per year with an economic impact of over a half billion dollars. The commercial trout industry prides itself on working to protect our environment while providing jobs and high quality, affordable food and recreation for American consumers.

Combined with the production at State, Federal and Tribal hatcheries, this provides jobs in many rural areas, and provides significant infusions of funds into local economies, as well as recreation for millions of our citizens,.

Limiting trout in the waters of the US to what native, natural reproduction could produce would rob millions of Americans of the opportunity to catch and eat healthy, fresh trout. Without stocking, trout fishing would become an opportunity only for the few elite.

Mr. Thompson’s characterization of trout production, both commercial and governmental, is significantly in error and irresponsible. The trout industry is highly regulated by both State and Federal agencies and is considered to be highly sustainable.

When credibility is needed relative to the science of safety and sustainability of aquatic resource utilization; consider the recommendations of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. Their stated opinion is that: ‘Farmed rainbow trout from the U.S. is a “Best Choice” because it’s raised in environmentally friendly ways.’

Thank you for the opportunity to respond,

Sean Nepper, President

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