With seafood’s healthy halo and the current interest in where our food comes from and how it’s produced, farm-raised fish remains a popular part of the American diet. That’s why during Aquaculture Day, Saturday, July 21, the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association and statewide fish farmers are partnering to welcome the public to experience fish farming and learn firsthand how locally grown, fresh fish are raised on today’s farms.
“Family, fun and fishing all go hand in hand while Wisconsinites learn about the role aquaculture plays in the state’s economy, local communities and recreational opportunities in providing local healthy food,” says Jeff Taylor, president of the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association and general manager of Star Prairie Trout Farm, one of the fish farms hosting Aquaculture Day.
Throughout the state individual fish farms from fee fishing, aquaponics to stocking operations will offer free activities including farm tours, cooking demonstrations, recipes, fee fishing and educational talks. Farms will offer gourmet tastes including fresh, smoked and spreads from trout to tilapia, salmon and more for sampling and sale.
Fee fishing, a fun outdoor family activity, offers the experience of getting a fresh catch from a local fish farmer.
Plus, learn about raising fish; whether outdoors, an aquaponics system or simply have fun fishing. In addition, 65th in Alice in Dairyland, Rochelle Ripp will be visiting Star Prairie Trout Farm to highlight the importance of aquaculture, as the state legislature has named the 3rd Saturday in July as Aquaculture Day.
Participating Wisconsin Aquaculture Member Fish Farms open for tours and tastings during Aquaculture Day, include:
• Bullfrog's Eat My Fish Farm, Menomonie (Central WI)
• Nelson & Pade, Inc., Montello (South-central WI)
• Rushing Waters Fisheries, Palmyra (Southeast WI)
• Silver Moon Springs, Elton (Northeast WI)
• Star Prairie Trout Farm, Star Prairie (Northwest WI)
• Wilderness Springs, Inc., New London (Central WI)
For details on specific host farm tours and activities, visit www.wisconsinaquaculture.com, under “Events”.
Aquaculture, or fish farming, is defined as the raising of aquatic organisms in controlled settings, and Wisconsin’s private aquaculture dates back to 1856. Wisconsin fish farming is very diverse - raising trout, yellow perch, and bluegills for food; walleye, northern pike, muskie and bass for stocking, and minnows for bait. Wisconsin ranks 1st in the Midwest and 20th in the nation for aquaculture, boasting a $21 million economic impact with more than 2,400 fish farms. This impact translates into Wisconsin’s aquaculture industry generating more than $2,400 every hour to our state economy. From fish farmers to feed suppliers and tourism, aquaculture provides jobs in our rural communities throughout our state.
Visit the website at www.WisconsinAquaculture.com or contact WAA Secretary Cindy Johnson at 715-373-2990 for more information.