Trout a key part of Buhl's economy

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BUHL, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Greeting anyone who drives into Buhl is a sign informing them that they are entering the trout capitol of the world. For them it's a logical claim.

"Because we raise a large majority of the trout," said Pat Hamilton, President of the Buhl Economic Council. "Truthfully in the whole world right here in Buhl, Idaho."

The trout industry has been in Buhl since the 20's. People don't have to work with the fish to benefit from them.

"They're impacted indirectly it's such a boom to our economy here you know it just helps stabilize our economy," Hamilton said.

The largest trout producer in the area is Clear Springs Foods, they might just be the largest one period.

"We're considered the world's largest trout producer," said Cally Grindstaff, the vice president of corporate relations.

Clear Springs says that more than three-quarters of the nation's trout is raised in the Magic Valley.

"It is amazing that you're in the middle of a desert basically and you're growing fin fish," Grindstaff said.

Raising all of that fish takes a lot of employees. Clear Springs has about 350 workers, more than 200 of them live in the Buhl and Wendell Area. Most of the rest live in the Magic Valley. They say they are always looking for more hatchery workers.

"We furnish and provide approximately a $20 million payroll," Grindstaff said. "So that's very important to the community of Buhl and the West end of the Magic Valley."

That;s just one company, overall the Department of Environmental Quality says that aquaculture is the third larges animal industry in the state.

"We have something that nobody else has and that's the fish industry," Hamilton said. "It's a year-round industry with our water supply. we can rely on that trout to be a viable product year-round."

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