The Buxton Trout & Salmon Farm is Australia's oldest commercial trout farm.
Nestled in the foothills of the great dividing range, 100kms North East of Melbourne is Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm - Australia’s first trout farm where trout have been bred for over 60 years.
The gravity fed water supply originates from the snowfields of Lake Mountain before cascading down Stevensons Falls and through its streams providing the perfect place to grow a clean, natural food.
No antibiotic chemicals or growth hormones are used on our farm. Our farm is a vertically integrated experience – we hatch the fish here and sell them ready for you to eat!
established in 1958 by Frank Parkes and his family.
FROM HERALD SUN ARTICLE in the 1950's- "At Buxton, 63 miles from Melbourne, there are thousands of Rainbow Trout that anglers will never be able to catch. The Trout have been raised by Mr Frank Parkes on a commercial fish farm which has been established beside the Steavenson and Little Steavenson Rivers on a 226 acre property. Twenty-two pools have been constructed and about half a million trout from 41/2 to 161/2 ins long are now thriving. Fish eggs (ova) to start the industry were brought from New Zealand by air. The eggs were packed on ice. Marketing of the trout will start soon. Until last year the commercial sale of trout was prohibited under Victorian law. Last May the law was amended to permit the ale of trout under certain conditions, the main one being that the complete process of fish raisin and packaging is undertaken on the farm. Technical assistance in establishing Buxton fish farm was given by The Fisheries and Wildlife Department. Present production rate at the farm is 52,000 lb. of trout a year. It is hoped that more than one million lb of fish will be raised each uear when full production is reached. When the farm is in full swing there will be permanent work for at least 20 men. Mr Parkes already has orders which will guarantee sales of all the fish he can raise in two years. Most of the trout will be taken at about 6 6 a lb bu Melbourne hotels and cafes and American shipping lines. Later on when output increases, processed and packaged trout will be on sale to the general public in much the same form as other packaged fish can be bought in the shops. “
Trevor Beynon purchased the farm in the early 60’s and developed the farm with extensive pond infrastructure upgrades concreted by hand. He opened the farm to the public for fishing!
Huge thank you to Shane Thorogoodand Karena Beynon for finding their old slides and sending them to us! These pics range from 1963 to 1978.
Pat Williams & Val MacRae bought the farm in 1979 from Trevor Beynon. Mitch MacRae started renting the farm in the late 80’s and purchased in 1996.
Mitch MacRae started renting the farm in the late 80’s and purchased in 1996. Mitch & his partner Deb MacRae and their family have worked at the farm over the past 30 years enhancing the fish-out experience and developing acres of poundage purpose built for fishing.
Mitch developed the farms specialty products - it’s famous Buxton Mountain Ash Smoked Trout.
Today in Australia approximately 1500-2000 tonnes of trout are produced each year, with approximately 85% of Australia’s trout being grown in the Murrindindi/ Upper Goulburn region in Victoria.
Australia’s trout production has an approximate value of 10-15 million dollars per year and employs approximately 200 people.
Our smoked trout are cooked over a mountain ash fire in a traditional method and are considered by many chefs to be the best in Australia. We used to have a Dutchman that lived over the road who was a third generation eel smoker. He was probably the first person to commercially smoke trout in Australia back in the late 1970’s. He taught us how to build and use a woodfire smoker for the trout and salmon. It still works very well and we can do 200kg or 600 fish in around 5 hours. We use Mountain Ash as this wood burns very quickly and doesn’t leave any coals so it is great for smoking fish.
Hand Milked Caviar
Our Caviar is hand milked when the fish are ripe around mid May. Being hand milked from live fish we can produce some of the highest quality caviar on the market. By gently hand milking the fish only when they are fully ripe and the egg completely formed means the caviar will pop on the roof of your mouth with an explosion of flavour. The eggs are cleaned and nicely separated, then lightly salted using time honoured methods to give a distinctive taste. We are one of the only farms in Australia which uses this method.
Black Saturday Bushfires in 2009
On the 7th February 2009, Buxton Trout Farm suffered from the Victorian bushfires that claimed over 170 lives, burnt out thousands of homes and devastated close by villages of Marysville and Narbethong. In excess of 400,000 hectares of bush land was burnt. Marysville had 3000 accommodation beds & rental properties damaged, now only around 500 have been rebuilt.The trout farm itself and the house was saved by the hard work of Mitch MacRae, family and friends, but 40 tons of fish, fencing, part of the hatchery and some sheds perished, this equates to over $800,000 of trout and salmon - all uninsured stock. Brood stock for the coming years was also lost.Since the fire, Buxton Trout Farm with the help of generous locals, customers, friends, and fisheries groups has got back up and running.
Our commitment - From hatch to catch
Our commitment is to provide a natural, freshwater, sustainable fish to Victorians in a transparent, authentic & hands on approach.