BECKLEY, W.Va. — Local consumers looking for a source of fresh, local trout have come to the right place — Raleigh County.
White Oak Quality Meats on Pluto Road in Shady Spring is the only processing plant in West Virginia certified to cut and sell fresh fish filets.
Owner Gary Redden said the plant sells a 100 percent West Virginian product to residential as well as commercial consumers.
Trout is trucked in from Mountaineer Trout Farm in Josephine and is touted as “the freshest, cleanest fish anyone can buy.”
Fresh filets, smoked filets and trout dips are sold from their Raleigh County store and are being cooked and served at The Greenbrier, The Char and Tamarack, to name a few.
Wesley Grose, manager of Mountaineer Trout Farm, said he has hoped for a local processing plant for a long time. If not for White Oak, he would be shipping his fish to North Carolina where they would then be distributed around the United States.
“Their trout farm is capable of raising 450,000 pounds of trout a year,” said Redden. “Our goal for this operation is to be able to process locally all the trout he raises and get it in the hands of local consumers. Right now a lot of area restaurants are buying trout from Utah, Idaho and even Columbia to sell to consumers. We want to keep this fresh supply here.”
Grose said the most important aspects of the enterprise are keeping it local and recognizing the health benefits of his trout.
Redden explained that trout trucked in from other states could be dead as long as five days or more.
“Here, they are swimming when they get here…