Wisconsin Aquaculture Contacts

Agencies / Regulatory

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
101 S. Webster Street, PO Box 7921
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7921
Tel: 608-266-2621 / Toll-Free: 1-888-936-7463

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
2811 Agriculture Drive, P.O. Box 8911
Madison, Wisconsin 53708-8911
Tel: (608) 224-5012

Education and Extension

University of Wisconsin-Extension
UW-Extension Building
432 N. Lake Street
Madison, WI 53706
Tel: (800) 940-7232

UW-Ext has 2 Aquaculture Specialists who offer farm visits and workshops. Ron Johnson is based at Star Prairie, covering northern WI 715-248-3657 and Jim Held is based at Lake Mills covering southern WI 920-648-2902

Affiliated Associations

Wisconsin Aquaculture Association
PO Box 37
Star Prairie, WI 54026
Tel: 715-248-3657

Announcing the formation of the America’s Tilapia Alliance (ATA)

The America’s Tilapia Alliance (the “ATA”) was formed in September 2013 by a group of US and foreign tilapia enthusiasts. A previous entity called the American Tilapia Association is in the process of dissolution. The former entity was organized in 1996. Since 1996 the industry has evolved and tilapia production has boomed worldwide. Fish farmers are not the only entities involved to create a healthy and expanding tilapia industry. The stakeholders include academia, pharmaceutical companies, feed suppliers, equipment manufacturers, seed and genetic providers, various laboratories, consulting and technology transfer companies, distributors, sales and marketing companies, and grocery and food service companies. All these actors have a role to play before the product ever gets to the end user – the consumer. The establishment of the new ATA will enable the additional stakeholders to become members of the expanded organization and enable them to add value to the industry.

The ATA’s initial objective is to expand the membership by having as members a variety of tilapia aficionados who invest time and or money within the tilapia industry. This brain trust of membership will offer their experience, contacts and financial support to protect and promote an improved image of tilapia. What needs to be developed by this collective are proactive and reactive programs that promote and protect the industry. To be effective within our budgets and means, targets have to be well coordinated by ATA members, Directors and committees.

To create interest and focus, the ATA will rely heavily on web based communication. The ATA expects to develop websites, and chat forums among the various groups that contribute to the tilapia industry. The ATA has solicited the support of various specialists to contribute columns and conduct periodic forums in their area’s to generate interest.

Other valuable benefits of participation in the ATA are networking, and receiving information about production, certification, markets, regulations, and other matters related to the industry. Information access will be allowed by access code and determined by the level of membership fees. The ATA expects to collaborate, coordinate and leverage its interests with those of other related organizations.

No matter in which tilapia market you are involved (live, fresh, fillet, whole, processed), many of the main positive and negative aspects are similar. Therefore, let us focus on promoting and protecting those aspects of the industry that impact all of us. By having a broader base of support we are stronger and more effective. Please give us a hand!

Current Directors & Officers:

William Martin (Blue Ridge)
Gaston Dupre (Rain Forest)
Willie Core (Cargill)
Rob Ellis (Astor)
James Butch Vidrine (Sysco)
Mike Picchietti (Aquasafra).

America’s Tilapia Alliance ATA
P.O. Box 110455
Bradenton, FL 34211

Wisconsin Tilapia Culture

“Raising Tilapia in Wisconsin is usually associated with aquaponic systems where the fish are fertilizer for the plants – it is difficult to compete with overseas fish that are selling at stores for less that it can be raised here in Wisconsin – that said some in aquaponics have found a niche market for fresh fillets – the largest of the tilapia grown in the United States goes for live Asian Markets in the largest cities and Canada.” Source: Ron Johnson

Tilapia usually need to be grown in heated environments to survive the long winter season in Wisconsin. Some progressive farms are now growing tilapia in Wisconsin using innovatively designed systems. Future Farms grows tilapia in a heated structure that uses duel loops of recirculating water. The water is heated by methane gas that comes from manure that is available from the nearby Baldwin dairy.

Future Farm Food and Fuel, LLC
2047 County Road E
Baldwin, Wisconsin 54002

51st and Bluemound Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53208
(414) 302-9495

R&D AquaFarms Inc.
4836 West Fisk Ave.
Oshkosh, WI 54904


Fish farming is regulated by both the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP)

WDNR is responsible for environmental permits and importation of nonnative fish species (including tilapia)

DATCP is responsible for fish health and registration of fish farms – here are links to information from both agencies – http://datcp.wi.gov/uploads/Animals/pdf/2012FishFarmApplicationPacketv2.pdf


10th International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture

Invitation to ISTA10 Conference, 2013

We are delighted to invite you to participate in the ISTA10 Symposium that will take place in Jerusalem, Israel, on October 6-10, 2013.

The first ISTA conference was held in Nazareth, Israel, in 1983, and now, 30 years later it is returning to Israel. This will be the 10th of the highly successful series* of symposia that will draw together researchers, farmers, business persons and policy makers from all over the world to review the latest discoveries in tilapia nutrition, physiology, reproductive biology, genetics, ecology, improvements in production systems, and other fields related to tilapia.

The event will provide the opportunity of reflecting on 30 years of research and development of the tilapia industry as well as highlighting recent innovations and future prospects and how much and what of the research conducted actually affects culture practices.

It will also enable presentation of views about the future prospect of the industry in the changing ecological and economical environments.
The symposium will include a trade/exhibit show, which will provide an opportunity for industry suppliers, seafood marketers, and the aquaculture press to meet directly with researchers and fish-farmers.

The conference will take place in Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel and a uniquely important city for Jews, Christians and Muslims.
We have also prepared for our guests from all over the globe a wonderful program of entertainment as sightseeing in beautiful Jerusalem, reception cocktail, a night spectacular at King David Tower, and a gala dinner.

We are looking forward to meeting you at the ISTA10 in Jerusalem, wishing to make this a memorable event both socially and scientifically.

Gideon Hulata
ISTA10 Chairman

* Previous meetings in this series:
ISTA I – 1983, Nazareth, Israel.
ISTA II – 1987, Bangkok, Thailand
ISTA III – 1991, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
ISTA IV – 1997, Orlando, FL, USA
ISTA V – 2000, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
ISTA VI – 2004, Manila, Philippines
ISTA VII – 2006, Veracruz, Mexico
ISTA VIII – 2008, Cairo, Egypt
ISTA IX – 2011, Shanghai, China

See more information about the 10th International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture

Tennessee Tilapia Culture

“Aquaculture refers to the breeding, rearing and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments, including ponds, rivers, lakes and the ocean. Similar to agriculture, aquaculture can take place in the natural environment or in a manmade environment. Worldwide, nearly half the fish consumed by humans is produced by fish farms. This global trend toward aquaculture production is expected to continue in the future. In Tennessee, the most common aquaculture species are catfish, prawns, tilapia and trout.” Source: Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture

The Johnson County Vocational School in Mountain City, TN operates a 9,000 ft. indoor greenhouse where tilapia and koi are raised. Tours of the facility can be arranged. Contact the Johnson County Vocational School.

Aquatic Resource Managers in Graysville, TN provides tilapia consulting.

Permits and Regulations

There are no state regulations on production of fish according to Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture (TDA) Regulatory Division. There are regulations on processing. TDEC would regulate waste and water disposal for commercial operations. In this day of food safety concerns, the buyer should be consulted. Many times, they require more than government of growers.

While we don’t have a dedicated marketing specialist for fish, Market Development Division of TDA will assist where possible. More comprehensive and detailed assistance can be gained from UT Center for Profitable Ag (https://ag.tennessee.edu/cpa ) if you qualify.” Source: Dan Strasser

Tank Culture of Tilapia

Tilapia can be raised in ponds, cages, and tanks. The pond and cage techniques are useful when water supplies are readily available. Tank culture offers a good alternative for raising tilapia in areas where land and water sources are limited. Tilapia can often be grown intensively in tanks because you can control environmental parameters, feeding, and water quality. Tank culture can be capital intensive, so you will need to do a careful careful evaluation of the economics to see if this technique makes sense in your location.

Here is a quick summary of the major advantages and disadvantages of tank culture.

Water quality can be controlled
Reduced water needs, especially if using a recirculating system
Intensive culture supports high production on small land parcels
High degree of control over environmental parameters (e.g., DO, pH, water temp., waste)
Stocking in high density disrupts normal breeding patterns and supports high growth rates
Fish feeding and harvesting are less labor intensive
Disease treatment is easier
No or limited natural food available, so fish must be feed a complete diet
Higher costs to maintain water pumps and aeration
Filtration in recirculating systems is expensive and requires maintenance
Backup systems are required to sustain fish if power is disrupted
Higher culture densities can increase fish stress and disease
Any water discharge must be controlled

Opposing Flows Technology has developed a tank system for intensive cultivation of aquaculture species, including tilapia. To review the economics of their modular system see http://aquaculturetanks.net/tilapia/


Aquaponics – Future Farms – Future Food Systems

Join Murray Hallam for Aquaponics Training in Brisbane, Australia on July 29 – August 1, 2013.

The training will comprise of a practical greenhouse session each day and course lectures each day. We plan to conduct the practical greenhouse sessions early in the morning before the heat of the day and then go to the community centre for the technical sessions for the remainder of the day. All day coffee and a light lunchon will be provided each day.

For more information, see Aquaponics – Future Farms – Future Food Systems

Kansas Aquaculture Contacts

Agencies / Regulatory

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
512 SE 25th Ave.
Pratt, KS 67124
Tel: (620) 672-5911

Education and Extension

Bart Hawcroft
State Aquaculture Coordinator in Missouri
Email: bart.hawcroft@mda.mo.gov

Charles Lee
Wildlife Specialist
Kansas State University Research and Extension
131 Call Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
Tel: 785-532-5734
E-mail: clee@ksu.edu

Randy Nelson
Manager, Farlington Fish Hatchery
State Aquaculture Coordinator/Fish Trade Coordinator
101 Hatchery Road
Farlington, KS 66734
Tel: 620.362.4166
E-mail: randy.nelson@ksoutdoors.com

Affiliated Associations

Kansas Aquaculture Association

Kansas Tilapia Culture

“This section reviews some of the aquatic species that constitute the existing and future Kansas aquaculture industry. Species suitable for foodfish, sportfish, and baitfish are discussed. Not every species listed is appropriate for every production system or producer. The salient features associated with each species listed are appropriate for every production system or producer. The salient features associated with each species are briefly summarized.

In addition to aquaculture species, a discussion of exotic species, genetic engineering, and fish diseases is also presented. The treatment of these subjects is not exhaustive but should provide a general awareness ofcmrently cultured aquatic species, species of future interest, as well as some of the problems and opportunities impacting the Kansas aquaculture industry.

In considering species suitable for Kansas aquaculture, several key factors must be addressed:

1. The quality and quantity of economic and natural resources available in the state.
2. The technical and biological limitations’of production.
3. The marketability ofthe cultured species.
4. Production economics.

Some of Kansas’ best hopes for aquaculture growth and expansion lie with regionally popular and readily marketable species. These include catfish, hybrid striped bass, tilapia, grass carp, crayfish, baitfish, and possibly salmon and trout”  Source: Kansas Aquaculture: Strategy for Development


Tilapia can be legally raised in Kansas. The State of Kansas has only one regulation effecting fish farming and that is a prohibited species list.  None of the plants or animals on the list may be possessed without a permit from the Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

International Aquaponics Conference: Aquaponics and Global Food Security

International Aquaponics Conference:
Aquaponics and Global Food Security
June 19-21, 2013, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

The International Aquaponics Conference: Aquaponics and Global Food Security will bring together individuals having and wanting to have an impact on food quality, security and sustainability using aquaponic methods. Industry experts will share experience and knowledge in a fun and informative conference setting, providing participants a wealth of information on the rapidly growing aquaponics industry.

Learn – about the latest developments in the aquaponics industry.

Share – thoughts and ideas with like-minded, forward-thinking individuals.

Discover – how aquaponics is helping to feed people around the world.

Enjoy – great food, new friends, and an abundance of information on aquaponics.

Experience – aquaponics first-hand on the aquaponic greenhouse tour.

Registration is now open!
Early registration fee is $495/person, until May 15.
Regular registration fee is $595/person, after May 15.
Student registration fee is $225/person, must be full-time student and provide student ID.
Conference Registration includes first year membership in the International Aquaponics Society.
Need Based Conference Scholarships are available–download Application Form
A credit option is available – get details.
View Tentative Schedule Here.
Meet your Speakers Here.

Conference Highlights:
•The latest in aquaponic technology, methods and applications will be presented.
•Experts in the aquaponics industry will share information about aquaponics and its varied uses that are feeding people around the world.
•Applications and uses including commercial, education, mission and integrated systems will be discussed. Issues such as food safety, fish feeds and regulations will be addressed.
•A Poster Contest will showcase student research in aquaponics. Prizes will be awarded.
•The Chef’s Demo will feature local chefs who will demonstrate a variety of ways to prepare aquaponically-grown fish and vegetables and conference attendees will get to sample the culinary creations.
•Attendees will tour a 5,000 square foot aquaponic greenhouse.
•An evening Wisconsin-style picnic will provide a great opportunity for attendees to socialize while getting to sample some of Wisconsin’s finest local products… cheese, brats (bratwurst) and beverages.
•The International Aquaponic Society, a UWSP Foundation organization dedicated to aquaponics research and education, will be launched and the first organizational meeting will take place at the conference.
Who Should Attend:
•Prospective Aquaponic Growers – if you are thinking of getting into aquaponics, attend this conference to learn about how people use aquaponics, where people use aquaponics, and how you can use aquaponics to feed your family, feed a village, or produce a profit in a commercial farming venture.
•Aquaponic Growers – if you are already an aquaponic grower, this conference will benefit you with new insight into the technology, methods, processes and commercial viability of aquaponics.
•Educators – if you are an educator, you will quickly learn and understand that aquaponics is a great hands-on learning tool to teach all facets of science, agriculture, engineering, mathematics and much more.
•Ministers of Agriculture and Government Representatives – if you are a government official and your country is concerned about food security, aquaponics can be a solution. It provides continuous production of fresh fish and vegetables in a sustainable, efficient manner.
•Regulators – if you make rules related to agriculture, aquaculture, business, health, education or food safety, this conference is a must to understand what aquaponics is, what methods are common and why it is inherently a safe and sustainable method of food production.

For more information, see International Aquaponics Conference:  Aquaponics and Global Food Security.