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​Optimizing Walleye and Hybrid Stocking Density and Nutrient Recycling in Traditional and Integrated Aquaculture Systems 

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Aquaculture and aquaponics are two industries showing substantial growth.  While aquaculture producers have a variety of fish types to raise, water shortages and stricter environmental regulations are shifting production practices to recycle systems.  Aquaponics has only one fish type that has been extensively researched and has had its production methods optimized - tilapia.  The aquaponics industry needs more fish options along with the scientific, technical and economic information required to successfully raise the fish in integrated production systems.  Walleye is a species with substantial aquaculture potential because of its high market value and limited supply from traditional commercial sources. 
This project, funded by Sea Grant, will conduct key commercial production evaluations using traditional (recirculating aquaculture systems or RAS) and integrated aquaculture systems (aquaponics) raising walleye and hybrid walleye from fry to market size. Biological and economic models will also be developed for producers so they can evaluate the introduction of a new fish type into their traditional and integrated aquaculture production systems.

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The overall project goal is to investigate support tools and techniques necessary to achieve sustainable aquaculture production in the Great Lakes region.  Specific objectives are to: 1) Compare stocking densities for walleye and hybrid walleye cultured in traditional and integrated aquaculture systems to achieve optimal growth, and 2) Compare nutrient dynamics and removal between traditional and integrated aquaculture systems raising walleye and hybrid walleye.  Based on these objectives, bio-technical and economic models will be developed as industry outreach tools. Both UWSP-NADF and the UWSP-Aquaponics Innovation Center will be utilized for the study.

This project has been funded by the Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.

Read the news realease on this project...


Top: Walleye reared in a recirculation system at UWSP-NADF.

Middle: One of six replicated aquaponics systems rearing walleye and saugeye at the UWSP Aquaponics Innovation Center.

Bottom: Intensively reared and feed trained saugeye raised at a high density (~90kg/m3) in warm water recirculation system at UWSP-NADF.

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