Sustainable Aquaculture Projects, Research, Education and Technology Advancements
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Advancing Aquaculture in 2017
Industry Partnerships & Applied Research

UWSP-Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility
Winter Newsletter 2017


Atlantic Salmon Production in Wisconsin

 The largest Atlantic salmon aquaponics facility in the world partners with UWSP NADF

 Superior Fresh, LLC., located in Northfield, Wisconsin, will be the largest cold water aquaponics facility in the world.  They are also the first indoor Atlantic salmon farm in the United States. They have partnered with UWSP NADF for technical assistance, demonstration and cold water species expertise to advance their facility and operations. UW-Stevens Point is also partnering to provide interns, technicians and further support staff.   This partnership is helping to advance the company's sustainable production of Atlantic salmon reared in water recirculating aquaculture systems.

As part of the partnership, a group of Atlantic salmon have been reared at the UWSP NADF and recently transferred to Superior Fresh for continued rearing.  These are the first fish that the company will be rearing and producing for Wisconsin's markets.

Learn more about Superior Fresh, LLC....

Cover- Atlantic salmon fingerlings shipped to Superior Fresh for continued grow out as part of a partnership with UWSP NADF.
Top- UWSP NADF and Superior Fresh Team to assist in the company's first fish haul.
Bottom-Atlantic salmon fingerlings weighed up before shipping from UWSP NADF to Superior Fresh, LLC. to advance the company's sustainable salmon production.


Sea Lamprey Parasitism Study

Wrapping up the first year of Ground Breaking Research...

 It is estimated that 45-75% of lake trout survive a sea lamprey parasitism event.  The sub-lethal physiological effects of sea lamprey parasitism on their hosts are likely to have significant population and management implications.  Yet we currently know little about how fish respond to sub-lethal parasitism events or how these events alter growth, body condition or reproduction.  Because of this gap in knowledge, it is likely that we are underestimating the damage caused by sea lamprey parasitism on lake trout populations.

For the last 7 months, Tyler Firkus, Michigan State doctoral candidate, has been undergoing the first year of a potential three year study. Firkus is researching the effects of sub-lethal parasitism of sea lamprey on the UWSP NADF captive broodstock of lake trout for both the lean and siscowet morphotypes. Not only is Firkus analyzing the immune response, growth and fitness of the fish after parasitism but also how the event effects the fecundity of the fish. In this first year, groups of eggs were taken from over 100 fish to determine fertilization, eye up and hatching success before exposure to a parasitism event. After eggs were collected, the treatment fish were then exposed to a sub-lethal parasitism event. The  study will continue next year to analzye the effects that this parasitism event has on lake trout fecundity.

Firkus states "
The first year of parasitism trials went well.  We were able to run enough trials to get preliminary results on the effect of Sea Lamprey parasitism on spawning and immunocompetence hopefully by this time next year.  Next year we hope to continue parasitism trials to assess reproductive and immune effects as well as effects on Lake Trout growth."

The data from this project will be most important for understanding and preserving  lake trout populations in the Great Lakes. Partnerships for this project include MI DNR, NOAA, Michigan State University. Funding provided by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

Read more in the article:
"What Happens When a Lake Trout Survives a Sea Lamprey Attack?" by UW Sea Grant Institute....

Top- Captive lean and siscowet morphotype lake trout broodstock at UWSP NADF.
Middle- The mouth part of a sea lamprey.
Bottom- Tyler Firkus extracts blood samples to analyze the immediate effect the sub-lethal parasitism event has on a lake trout.


Researching Treatments for Water Reuse Systems

The USGS Partners with UWSP NADF to test the effects of fish treatments on cold water reuse systems...

Untreated outbreaks of disease can decimate entire production units of fish and can endanger a whole production year. Therapeutic drugs are essential to ensure the health, productivity, and well-being of fish stocks reared in intensive culture. There are only a few FDA-approved drugs for U.S. aquaculture, and even less approved for sustainable recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). The USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center has funded and collaborated with UWSP NADF  to determine the effects of both formalin and hydrogen peroxide on the efficiency of the biofilters in RAS for freshwater finfish. The objective of this project is to potentially create an FDA approved concentration for these treatments in RAS. Rainbow trout and lake trout are being used for the project at UWSP NADF utilizing the facility's cold water recirculating system.

The effects of formalin use in RAS was studied last year, while this year, hydrogen peroxide effects will be studied. Recently, over 1400 lbs of rainbow trout were donated by the USGS  to add to the system (photo above). At the end of the study, the rainbow trout will be donated as fillets to local residents and the Tribal Elderly Program. Last year over 500lbs of fillets were donated!

Top- UWSP NADF cold water RAS utilized for the study.
Middle- Over 1400lbs of Rainbow trout were donated by USGS and shipped to UWSP NADF to be added to the facility's cold water recirculation system for the study.
Bottom- After the study the fish will be donated to the local community.



UWSP NADF Outreach Numbers of 2016

Each year the UWSP NADF outreaches to thousands of aquaculturists, students, educators and the public through social networking, phone calls, emails, articles and newsletters...

Through hands on tours, classroom vistis, site visits, presentations and public events, the UWSP NADF has directly outreached to...
190 Industry Personnel

899 K-12 Students

50 Educators

192 Tour Groups

Advancing Workforce Development...
The UWSP NADF outreach program is not only to assist and advance aquaculture in the Midwest, but also for public education and workforce development. The facility is incorporating aquaculture and aquaponics systems into the school districts for STEM education as well as spark interest in students at a young age for a career in the aqua-business industry.

An available experienced and skilled workforce is still a major limitation for the advancement of the aqua-business industry. The UW-Stevens Point is focusing on workforce development for the industry, offering a world class education in both aquaculture and aquaponics. UW Stevens Point is the first accredited university in Wisconsin to offer an aquaculture minor and the first in the nation to offer a full semester aquaponics course and Professional Aquaponics Certificate Program with private industry partner Nelson and Pade, Inc. Students will gain a hands on and applied research education through the state of the art facilities for both aquaculture at the UWSP Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility and for aquaponics at UWSP Aquaponics Innovation Center. These unique facilities promote private business partnerships that are leading to over 90% job placement for technicians and interns.

For more information on these opportunities please visit our webpage...

Top- Bayfield high school learns about external and internal anatomy of a lake trout at UWSP NADF
Middle- Students learning how to sample rainbow trout during a hands on tour at UWSP NADF.
Bottom- UWSP NADF Technicians work alongside private industry partner Riverence, LLC. to ultrasound Atlantic salmon broodstock for determining egg harvest.


Bottom Cover Photo: Atlantic salmon fingerlings are weighed by UWSP NADF Manager, Greg Fischer (left) and technician, Jared Neibauer (right) before being transferred to Superior Fresh, LLC. as part of a partnership to advance the company's sustainable salmon production. Others in the photo include UWSP NADF Technician Jim Miazga (far right), and Superior Fresh staff; Nick Zaccaria and Adam Olson (far left).


Workshops, Trainings, and Events

  • AQUACULTURE AMERICA 2017 on February 19-22nd in San Antonio, TX having the largest aquaculture trade show in the Western Hemisphere and the only major national aquaculture conference and exposition held in the U.S. Register through the World Aquaculture Society... 
  • Introduction to Aquaponics is a full semester online course offered by UW-Stevens Point and business partner, Nelson and Pade Inc.® on February 27, 2017. It is available as either a two credit or three credit course.  All lectures and discussions take place online The three credit option includes a 3-day lab session at Nelson and Pade, Inc.®’s demonstration greenhouse in Montello, WI.The course is open to students at UWSP as well as students from other colleges and universities through UWSP Continuing Education. Register or find more information...
  • 2017 Wisconsin Aquaculture Conference & Pre Conference Workshop March 2nd-4th: Support Aquaculture in the state of Wisconsin by attending this years WAA conference.This is the largest aquaculture conference in the Upper Midwest and gives new and existing farmers the opportunity to meet and talk with many experts and experienced farmers in one place. You don't have to be a WAA member to attend. There will be 18 presentations including talks on coldwater and coolwater culture, aquaponics, RAS and variTrade show, silent auction and cooking demonstration will also be offered. Register for the conference...

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and Outreach Projects


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Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility

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