The Facility


The UWSP-Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility is located in Red Cliff, near Bayfield, Wisconsin and has been in operation since 2006. The facility conducts applied research, education and outreach services for and funded by the Wisconsin Aquaculture Industry, which is a $21 million dollar statewide industry, supporting over 450 jobs at more than 2,300 Wisconsin aqua-businesses (Aquaculture and Aquaponics).

UWSP NADF is one of a kind in the Midwest and joins only a handful in the country that offer the unique research, demonstration and educational capabilities. The facility is designed with modern, high-tech aquaculture production systems and equipped to provide a wide range of applied research and demonstration for a variety of projects and fish species including Atlantic salmon, Arctic char, lake trout, rainbow trout, walleye, saugeye, yellow perch, baitfish and others. 

The facility is recognized as an international leader in Recirculating Aquaculture Technology, or RAS. With RAS we can operate with significantly less water than a traditional flow-through facility. The facility also showcases a variety of other aquaculture systems such as incubation, larval and grow-out systems including pond, and raceway culture. 

The education, outreach and demonstration capabilities the facility offers is also highly unique, with interactive hands-on tours for all audiences, K-12 aquaculture literacy and education, technical trainings and workshops, skill development and experience through internships and apprenticeships, technical assistance and extension of research to industry.


An 8,500 ft2 aquatic production barn contains:

  • Adaptable, open work areas with both cold and heated water for “plug and play” set up depending on the need. Oxygen and air lines are also present throughout the facility for all systems and tanks.

  • Several modern commercially-scaled RAS systems for efficiently rearing a variety of cold and cool water fish. 

  • Two rooms with more than fifty 240L tanks with heated and cold water available for conducting specialized applied research.

  • Bell jar and Heath tray egg incubation systems for various cold and cool water species.

  • An analytical water testing and research laboratory.

Outdoor the facility also contains:

  • Four 1/2 acre aerated clay lined ponds with a common fish collection basin for harvest.

  • Two settling ponds and a created wetland for water clarification.

  • A High tunnel building containing partial reuse Recirculating Aquatic System (RAS) technology, dual drain round tanks with integrated radial flow separators for coldwater fish species.

  • Two high capacity wells connected to Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and computerized monitoring system that provides cold (46°F), degassed, aerated water in a highly efficient and sustainable method for long term operation.

  • A second high tunnel building containing linear raceway technology with flow through water for coldwater species.

View the construction of our latest outdoor builiding...