In the summer of 1863, when [Dr Francis] Day was visiting the Nilgiris, he heard about Thomas’s attempt to bring trout to India. Around the same time, Day received a small booklet titled Fish Hatching, written by his childhood friend Frank Buckland. Like Day, Buckland had joined the military as an assistant surgeon. But he later resigned and started collecting and hatching trout eggs.

After reading about trout hatching, Day started to think seriously about introducing trout in the Nilgiris. He made a survey of the streams and rivers in these hills and decided that its water bodies offered a perfectly hospitable environment for trout.

The biggest problem was a familiar one – the distance from England. Day knew that only eyed ova could be transported. He also knew that ova hatch within 14 days, and that it took a ship at least 40 days to reach India, to which must be added a further three days for a rail and road journey to Ooty. But these constraints did not discourage Day from pursuing the project.

Fortuitously, he was able to meet the governor of Madras, Sir William Denison, who told him to get in touch with James Youl. When this meeting took place, Day was…

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