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Resources for Farmers 

Getting Started

Introduction to Aquaculture in the North Central Region

A factsheet document describing aquaculture status, systems, species and business and marketing considerations in the North Central Region.

Is Aquaculture For You?

A checklist created by the Ohio Aquaculture Association addressing the most important considerations before investing capial and labor into aquaculture.  

Getting Started in Aquaculture

The construction of ponds and other types of aquaculture sturctures must be carefully planned to take advantage of the natural site conditions and to minimize the envronmental impacts of the project. This document is provided by the WI DNR to review environmental concerns and regulations when getting started in aquaculture. 

Business Planning for Aquaculture

The North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC) is one of the five Regional Aquaculture Centers established by Congress that are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. NCRAC is an administrative unit that serves the twelve states in the North Central Region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

AgPlan Business Planning Tool

This free resource created by the University of Minnesota will assist and develop an individual businness plan. The resource includes tips, samples, and important concepts as well as features to convert your business plan into various documents for printing and sharing. This resource is highly recommended by Aquaculture Economist, Carole Engle, who has over 40 years working with aquaculture businesses. 

Registration, Permits and Requirements

From getting started as a fish farmer to bringing your finished product to market, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has resources to assist the Wisconsin's aquaculturists with each step of the process.

Environmental Permits for Wisconsin Fish Farms

Although Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is responsible for the annual registration of fish farms, fish import permits for live fish and eggs and all matters related to fish health, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) remains an important contact for new and established fish farmers. 

Fish Farming in Wisconsin: What You Need To Know

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Division of Animal Health. A summary of the requirements for fish farms in Wisconsin. 

Natural Water Body Permits for Fish Farms

Fish farms that operate in naturawater bodieses are required under a 1997 law to get a "Natural Water Body Permit" from the DNR as well as register with the DATCP...

Equipment and Feeds

At the UW-Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, we are always testing new equipment and technology. This link provides a list of the facility's providers for various equipment and commercial feeds along with any contact information. Please Contact Us for more information on your individual facility's needs.

Training & Development

UWSP NADF Resource Sharing

To stay up to date on the latest aquaculture opportunities such as workshops and trainings, conferences, project deliverables, live fish donations, and more please subscribe to the UWSP NADF: YouTube Channel, Facebook and Twitter Pages, and quarterly email newsletter

Aquaculture Boot Camp - PowerPoint Video Sessions

UWSP NADF and partners provided a year long training program to provide an overview of various topics to those interested in pursuing aquaculture or aquaponics. The PowerPoints from each session were recorded and available online.  

Online Fish Health Program for Producers

This program provides producers with relevant risk assessment and management principles and practices to reduce losses due to fish diseases. The program includes a six web-based learning modules. The amount of information provided is equivalent to an online teaching course. This project was originally funded by the North Central Region Aquaculture Center and produced by UW Stevens Point and WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Fish Health & Water Quality Videos 

Six, short and consice videos providing information on fish disease, diagnostics, biosecurity, water quality and more. The development and production of these modules was funded USDA NIFA through NCRAC and lead by a team at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, with the support from the University of Minnesota College of Fisheries, Agricultural and Natural Sciences, and The Ohio State University.

Walleye Video Manual on Intensive Culture

Based on nearly 10 years of research, UWSP NADF has created a technical video series to raise walleye and hybrid walleye from egg to market size in indoor intensive systems. The videos show the basic protocols and managment practices at the facility and will be accompanied by a user manual with further detail in the future. 

Four PowerPoint video modules created by UWSP NADF and Lac du Flambeau Tribal Hatchery providing an overview of various topics regarding raising fish in ponds, highlighting walleye as the example species. 

Geographic Information Systems for Aquaculture Site Suitability Models

UW-Stevens Point students, staff and faculty have created two suitability models publically accessible through an online database. Users can select individual model parameters or combine factors that they deem relevant and observe whether the location they are interested in is identified as suitable for an aquaculture facility. Pond and Raceway suitablity models have been completed through this project. 

Further Resource Agencies

Wisconsin Aquaculture Association, Inc.

Industry led and producer centered. Goals of the WAA: To promote, educate & advocate for economic vitality and environmental sustainability. To organize for opportunity, representation and responsibility of each diverse and active aspect of honorable aquacultural practice, for all species, issues, activities and sizes of operation. To interact with government agencies, related associations, industries, and other groups. To meet on a regular basis to conduct association business, network and socialize.

North Central Region Aquaculture Center

The North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC) is one of the five Regional Aquaculture Centers established by Congress that are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. NCRAC is an administrative unit that serves the twelve states in the North Central Region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Resources on this site include various aquaculture publications on a variety of species, aquatic management, videos, presentations and more. 


The National Aquaculture Association

The NAA's mission is to provide a unified national voice for aquaculture that ensures its sustainability and protects its profitability. As a voice for the industry, the NAA works to ensure that industry is represented on the issues that are effecting businesses the most. In addition to coordinating action within the industry, the NAA is a strong national representation to outreach to media and policy makers. The NAA also provides valuable resources to the industry, organizes workshops and conferences and promotes aquaculture education and advocacy.

The Conservation Fund- Freshwater Institute 

The Freshwater Institute specializes in the production technology and design of aquaculture systems; and in solutions to the water quality constraints and impacts presented by our farms and communities.  We share what we learn through science publication and targeted workshops.  We partner with clients to achieve the complementary goals of environmental sustainability, human health and economic vitality. The Freshwater Institute also hosts the annual Aquaculture Innovation Workshop (AIW) which is dedicated to the discussion and presentation of the latest developments in aquaculture technology. Check out the list of past workshops which features attendee list, presentations and program documents HERE...

USFWS Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership

The Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership (AADAP) program is part of the Fish and Aquatic Conservation fish health work. It is the only program in the United States singularly dedicated to obtaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of new medications needed for use in fish culture and fisheries management. Since the late 1990's, AADAP has contributed to virtually every new fish medication approved by the FDA. Check out their Quick Reference Guide for Approved Drugs for Use in Aquaculture. 

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has developed specific pages on aquaculture where users can consult relevant material on aquaculture at international, regional and national level.The link above gives a list of various aquaculture species providing information on the biology, densities and growth rates for use in aquaculture.

Fish Culture Section of the American Fisheries Society 

An organization concerned with advancing the cultivation technology of aquatic organisms for food, commercial and recreational fisheries enhancement, ornamental purposes, and conservation. The Section represents fish culturalists and those involved in allied fields such as nutrition, physiology, toxicology, drug development , genetics and breeding, bioengineering economics, fish ecology and everything in between. Fish Culture section also provides a Guide to Using Aquaculture Drugs Excel Spreadsheet for calculating approved treatments.

The American Association of Fish Veterinarians (AAFV)

Find a fish vet in your area, become a member, or discover additional resources on fish health. The mission of AAFV is to further the art and science of fish veterinary medicine by enhancing and promoting knowledge, proficiency, professional standards and viability of fish medicine for veterinarians, increease the value, visibility, and acceptance of fish veterinary medicine for stakeholders, and ultimately to improve fish, human and environmental health.

Additional Reading

Pond Boss Magazine


Managing Wisconsin Fish Ponds

This publication was written by various credible pond experts in response to the growing interest in managing ponds for boh recreational and commercial fishing in Wisconsin. Its purpose is to provide a source of reliable, up-to-date information for those interesed in building new ponds or managing existing ones. The reference section is designed to serve as a guide to the vast body of intormation that deals with fish pond management. 

Best Management Practices for Aquaculture. J. Malison and C. Hartleb.

Free Download PDF Version. This book gives a nice overview of aquaculture with chapters in importance of aquaculture, management and use of effluent, various aquaculture systems, fish health, genetics and biology of various aquaculture fish species. 

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems 2nd Edition by Timmons, Ebeling, Wheaton, Summerfelt, Vinci.

A complete reference book on the sustainable and advanced techology in aquaculture known as recirculating aquaculture systems or RAS. This book also includes basic material on fish health management, fluid mechanics, economics, monitoring & control systems, waste management, ozonation, fish nutrition, and building heat transfer and moisture control. The 2nd edition has added a 40 page chapter on aquaponics. Extensive software is provided on a CD that performs most of the critical calculations used in aquaculture.

Aquaponics Production Manual: A Practical Handbook for Growers.

The School of Aquaculture and Aquatics Sciences at Kentucky State University released this 75-page comprehensive manual that covers the biological concepts of aquaponics, types of systems, suitable fish and plant species, systems management, water quality, disease of plants and fish, controlled environments KSU Aquaponics Manual (greenhouse and indoors), marketing and economics, as well information on certification and regulations.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Small-scale aquaponicfood production; Integrated fish and plant farming.

This technical paper showcases current wisdom in aquaponics, focusing on small-scale production. The publication is divided into nine chapters and nine appendixes, with each chapter dedicated to a specific facet of an aquaponic system. 

Aquaponics Food Production Systems

This open access book, written by world experts in aquaponics and related technologies, provides the authoritative and comprehensive overview of the key aquaculture and hydroponic and other integrated systems, socio-economic and environmental aspects.

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