Between 2008 and 2020, Bill West of Blue Iris Fish Farm in Black Creek, Wisconsin participated in six SARE grant projects involving aquaculture and yellow perch. While the target species of the SARE grant research was yellow perch, many of the results and outcomes of the research is applicable to other species including members of the genus Lepomis and other percids.
In 2021, West set forth to write a continuum of his research to provide important updates for the aquaculture community.
"It is not the intent of this summary to redo these project reports. However, where new information has been learned since project termination, these aspects will be shared," said West. "As will be shown by this report, there are many facets that need to be addressed to result in the successful process of taking a species from 'egg to market', and each completed grant advanced our knowledge of specific details in the process."
Although indoor aquaculture operations exist (typically known as recirculating aquaculture systems or RAS), West says most small to medium-sized fish culture operations are outdoor operations. Regardless of whether the aquaculture system is indoor or outdoor, West's continuum of research has focused on figuring out how to supply feed trained fingerlings, and to come up with a more precise "recipe for success."
This document includes a summary of the aquaculture research projects that Bill West has participated in, as well as updates for each of those SARE projects, written by West himself.
Want more information? See the related SARE grants:
- Study to Reduce Parasitic Infestations of Yellow Perch in Flow-Through Outdoor Growout Systems (FNC08-731)
- Increase Sustainability on Fish Farms with the Development of Value Added Products from Fish and Fish Waste (FNC14-955)
- Developing a Production and Distribution Mechanism for Feed Trained Perch Fingerlings for Use in Aquaculture Grow-out Facilities (FNC19-1166)
- Developing a “Cold Banking” system for perch which would provide an available supply of fish for indoor grow-out facilities throughout winter. (FNC18-1132)
- Developing a Self Funded Aquaculture Program for High Schools (FNC16-1064)
- Increasing Farm Income and Diversification By Converting Abandoned Manure Pits Into Aquaculture Production Facilities (FNC17-1105)
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.