In New Brunswick, the rearing of smolt and trout in fresh water dates back to the early 1870s. For many years, the goal was to produce young fish for the sole purpose of restocking natural watercourses. The rearing of these species thus remained a government effort exclusively for nearly a century. It was not until the 1970s that the regulations were changed to allow the private sector to engage in this activity and commercialize production.
For the most part, the freshwater species currently being reared in New Brunswick are Atlantic salmon (smolt for marine facilities), which account for the bulk of production, brook trout, rainbow trout, shortnose sturgeon, and Arctic char. The fish produced supply three main markets: the sale of juveniles to other aquaculture operations, the table market in the form of fresh, frozen, and smoked products and caviar, and the fish pond market.