Sustainable Aquaculture Projects, Research, Education and Technology Advancements
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Spring Newlsetter 2021
Highlights of Projects, Staff & Facility News

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility 


Commercial Application of Out-of-Season Spawning of Walleye 
By using specialized larval rearing systems, enhanced husbandry, indoor closed-loop production, and optimized starter diets UWSP NADF has been able to assemble systematic culture protocol that has advanced walleye food fish production to the point that a Wisconsin commercial walleye industry is emerging.  There remains a limited number of bottlenecks for commercial walleye industry production in Wisconsin, with one of the most important being the out-of-season availability of walleye fry.

The next step in commercializing production of walleye is to establish out-of-season breeding practices so that bio-secure walleye eggs, fry and juveniles can be available year-round. UWSP NADF is currently conducting key commercial production spawning cycles using out-of-season spawning practices, to control the reproductive cycle of walleye, irrespective of the season. The facility is currently housing several groups of intensively raised mature walleye broodstock of various ages.  These broodstock are currently being cued for spawning this spring and their eggs and progeny will be compared with wild walleye eggs. Learn more about this project. 

Extensive and Intensive  Production of Walleye with Collaborators
UWSP NADF is collaborating with Red Cliff Tribal Fish Hatchery, Wisconsin DNR, The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and Lake Namakagon Lake Association for the production of walleye for stocking.  Walleye will be cultured at UWSP NADF in four, half acre clay lined ponds as well as indoors on commercial feed in the facility’s intensive larval rearing room. Both extensive and intensively raised fish will reared to extended fingerlings (>6 inches), fin clipped and stocked into Lake Namakagon for future survival comparison between groups.

For more information on walleye cutlutre: 
  • Extensive Production: Pond Culture Video Modules, highlighting UWSP NADF pond culture protocols and techniques, which includes four presentations on topics; Pond Construction,  Pond Management, Water Quality, and Fish Management.
  • Intensive Production: UWSP NADF Walleye Video Manual, a series of 10 instructional videos on indoor intensive culture from egg to broodstock. 


Nanobubble Oxygenation in RAS
UWSP NADF has been investigating nanobubble technology for increased oxygen and fish production in recirculating systems, compared to other traditional means of oxygen supplementation, such as oxygen cones. To do this research the facility constructed six replicated recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) which include solid removal, biofiltration, UV sterilization, oxygen supplementation and real-time water quality monitoring. Both Atlantic salmon and walleye will be utilized for investigation for both a cold water and cool water fish species to investigate the effects of nanobubble technology in RAS. For more information, watch a short video on this project.


Meet Robert Lawrence, recently hired as UWSP NADF Aquaculture Technician

"I received my Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Management with a concentration on Fisheries Management at Lakes Superior State University. While at LSSU I worked at the Center for Freshwater Research and Education fish hatchery raising Atlantic salmon. I was also vice president of the LSSU Aquaculture club and oversaw and managed the Aquaponic Learning Laboratory's two aquaponic systems. I am most interested in learning more about the operations of large-scale RAS systems and walleye rearing."

-Robert Lawrence

As Aquaculture Technician, Robert is assisting with the facility's research and demonstration projects, rearing both cool and cold water species at various life stages including walleye, Atlantic salmon, lake trout and Arctic char. This also includes gaining experience in various culture systems; ponds, raceways, recirculating, incubation and larval systems.


Kendall Holmes has been Facility Foreman since 2005 and has raised over 15 species at various life stages in a variety of culture systems. As the UWSP NADF foreman, Kendall's duties include assisting with demonstration/research projects, data analysis, publication and report writing, supervising workers/volunteers, as well as equipment and grounds maintenance. He has trained dozens of interns, technicians and additional staff members over the years while also providing technical expertise on various systems and species to beginning aquaculturists, outreaching information to the public through facility tours and assists in facility workshop and training opportunities.
Kendall received his degree in Biology with aquatic emphasis and a Water Resources minor from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Previously, he worked as Water Resources Coordinator and as a Fisheries Technician for the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa regarding Lake Superior management. His hatchery experience includes state, federal, and tribal fish hatcheries rearing trout and walleye throughout all phases of production.
"I have been interested in fish my entire life. I now get to watch them through all of their life stages as the grow from egg to sometimes monsters - i.e. a 35 pound salmon! I can say I enjoy working with the interns, students, and the tours that come through- it is enjoyable seeing their faces light up learning about fish and how they are reared."
-Kendall Holmes

Kendall has been a key employee to the facility's success and sustainability, while consistently bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to UWSP NADF and staff.

Reducing mortality associated with opportunistic infections in Atlantic salmon fry using hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid
A current project funded by NOAA Sea Grant to UWSP NADF and partners at The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute looks to overcome current barriers to the growth of land-based Atlantic salmon production. One of these barriers, recently investigated by this project was reducing fry mortality due to opportunistic pathogens at the vulnerable stages of pre and post-smoltification.
This study evaluated hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid to compare the relative efficacy of these chemicals in reducing opportunistic pathogen‐associated mortality in Atlantic salmon fry through daily low‐dose treatments of culture tank water. Research was completed at both UWSP NADF and The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute, whose. results have recently been published and accessible online in the Journal of Aquaculture Research. 

This research is part of a larger project, Overcoming Barriers to Support the Growth of Land Based Atlantic Salmon Culture. Check out this recent article in Aquaculture Magazine highlighting the project.

Aquaculture Magazine highlights National Collaboration for Atlantic Salmon

The Recirculating Aquaculture Salmon -Network ( is part of a nationally funded project to Build Capacity of  Sustainable Production of Atlantic Salmon in Land Based Systems and is assisting to meet the overarching goal of the project, which is to build capacity and establish a holistic hub of knowledge that will integrate past, current and future research as well as outreach, education and extension to promote the successful growth, stability and economic feasibility of the Atlantic salmon RAS sector and, more broadly, US aquaculture. Aquaculture Magazine recently published an article highlighting the RAS-N as well as recent stakeholder workshop.

Commercial Application of Out-of-Season Spawning of Walleye, UWSP NADF Project Film Series
Overview of the UWSP NADF, video produced by Bonnie Willison and Wisconsin Sea Grant
  • Fish to Fork - Cooking Great Lakes Fish Webinar, April 28th, 12:00pm. Join the Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative and Ohio Sea Grant for a webinar about resources for Great Lakes fish and a demonstration of how to dress, prepare, and cook fish at home! Hosts from Wisconsin farm, Rushing Waters Fisheries and Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. Learn More/Register.
  • Aquaculture America 2021 August 11-14, San Antonio, TX. Aquaculture America returns to one of the favorite tourist spots in the world for the only major national aquaculture conference and exposition held in the U.S. The U.S. Aquaculture Society (formerly U.S. Chapter of WAS) joins with National Aquaculture Association and the Aquaculture Suppliers Association to produce the annual Aquaculture America meetings. This conference will also have the largest aquaculture trade show in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest anywhere in the world with nearly 200 booths. Learn More/Register

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