The Trout People

LUNSKLIP FAMILY FARMA RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT | On the edge of the Mpumalanga escarpment, close to Dullstroom, the clear and cold waters of the Lunsklip river tumble down a sheer rock face for over seven hundred feet to the valley below.

Here the Van der Merwe family built Lunsklip Fisheries, their trout farm specialising in live sales, trout production and processing, and ova exports from their Trova farm near Sabie. As pioneers in the industry since 1972, they are known in the South African aquaculture and fish consumers’ market as The Trout People.

AQUACULTURE PIONEERS SINCE 1972 | It all started way back in the early seventies, when Gerrie van der Merwe identified the pristine waters of the Lunsklip river near Dullstroom for breeding trout.

His research led him to the Mpumalanga Highlands where he ventured into the wild, literally climbing 240 m down a cliff daily, to construct a land-based aquaculture enterprise at the foot of the Lunsklip waterfall. Construction of weirs, concrete ponds and buildings started in 1972 with the first production and sales commencing in 1974.

Gerrie and Hannetjie’s Lunsklip team was further strengthened in the mid 90’s with the post graduate return of their sons Stephan and Reinier. A self-sustained value chain has always been the Lunsklip motto. Their aquaculture enterprise, undertaken in a competitive and well regulated environment, covers the full cycle – from certified ova to fingerling to fish.

The Lunsklip Group of Companies specialise in production, processing, live sales and ova exports. With their broad base of knowledge and experience, they also provide consultancy and related services.

Gerrie and sons are known for their active involvement in the agricultural community and governance matters regarding aquaculture and agriculture in general. They are committed in downstream activities, actively helping to grow the industry.

THE TROUT PEOPLE – HERE TO STAY | And they are here to stay. The grandchildren – a third generation of fly-fishers and prospective trout producers – are growing up on the beautiful Lunsklip farms, raised with hands-on experience.

Driven by efficiency, result maximisation and above all service delivery, the members of this well established family business do it all themselves – from breeding and hatching, to growing, processing and distribution throughout South Africa and trout ova for the export market.

Hannetjie and the team at the processing plant do on-going product development for the hospitality trade, food lovers and housewife market. Reinier runs the farming enterprise and Stephan, as business leader of Lunsklip Fisheries, is directly involved with the market and client liaison. Restaurants, guest lodges and hotel chefs, caterers at wedding and conference venues, and retail outlets like Pick ‘n Pay, Spar and Food Lovers’ Market, know that Lunsklip is a phone call away.

Lunsklip Fisheries deliver processed trout products twice a week to Gauteng and to certain destinations in Mpumalanga and the Kruger Lowveld, and nationally through a chain of wholesalers.

For the freshwater leisure and fish farming market, live trout is delivered within three days of order, with Stephan advising guest lodges, syndicates and leisure farms as to the when and how of stocking brown and rainbow trout.

And at Trova Farm, we run a highly technical operation developing disease free certified trout ova for the export market.