Fish Farm

In Ho Chi Minh City, the Saigon River is joined by the Soai Rap River, known further upstream as the Dong Nai. Halfway between its source in the central highlands and Ho Chi Minh City, the Dong Nai River is joined by the La Nga and together they form Lake Tri An. At the confluence of the La Nga River and Lake Tri An, the water is about 30 meters deep, but slow flowing, and a thriving fish farming community has developed there.

Lake Tri An was our primary stop on the drive to the central highlands and our destination there, an overnight stay in Bao Loc at the home of the parents of one of Loc’s co-workers. Loc made arrangements for a local fisherman to pick us up and take us for a boat ride up the La Nga to his floating house and fish farm.

We cast off and made our way out through the hydrilla, in style wearing our conical leaf hats.

Each fish farm consists of a lumber raft floating on empty oil drums with a tin-roof house on top,…

… which is lashed to several floating fish pens of bamboo and lumber frames with netting. The fish are predominately Tilapia. Here’s a complete fish farm raft house with fish pens:

As the fish reach commercial size, the pen is detached from the main raft and transported by another boat to a place for land transport and sale. This is a transport boat pushing a fish pen:

We approached our captain’s fish farm. His wife was just arriving home from doing some net fishing in the river; their two children were at school.

On board, we examined the fish pens. The fish had just been fed and were lying slighly below the surface, but you can probably spot a couple in the second photo, below:

We sat and visited with our fisherman captain and his wife. The front room is open, as you can see, and used to store the fish food; the family lives in the back. The only electricity on board is supplied by several batteries which have to be taken ashore every few days for recharging.

It was interesting hearing about the process and economics of the fish farming business. After a half hour or so, we were transported back to shore where we had a Vietnamese coffee break. These hammock coffee houses dot the main roads heading out of Ho Chi Minh City.

I think the State of Florida should add these to its Florida Turnpike Rest Areas.

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