Kentucky Aquaculture Contacts

Agencies / Regulatory

Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife
#1 Sportsman’s Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601

Education and Extension

Kentucky State University
Aquaculture Research Center
103 Athletics Road
Kentucky State University
Frankfort, KY

Dr. Jim Tidwell
Division of Aquaculture
502-597-8104 (Telephone)
502-597-8118 (Fax)

Dr. Sid Dasgupta Professor and
Principal Investigator,
Economics and Marketing
Voice: (502) 597-5036
Fax: (502) 597-8118

Dr. Bob Durborow
State Extension Specialist for Aquaculture

KSU Specialists are housed in western and central Kentucky. Dr. William Wurts is at the UK Princeton Research and Extension Center, and Mr. Forrest Wynne is in the Purchase area of western Kentucky where he assists and supports the rapidly growing catfish industry.

Dr. Bill Wurts
Aquaculture Extension Princeton, Ky.

Forrest Wynne
Aquaculture Extension
Mayfield, Ky.

Affiliated Associations

Kentucky Aquaculture Association
150 Keltner Rd
Campbellsville,  KY 42718
(270) 465-7732

Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture
111 Corporate Drive
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (502) 573-0282
Fax: (502) 564-2133

Kentucky Tilapia Aquaculture

Tilapia: A Potential Species for Kentucky Fish Farms

Kentucky Fish Farming, 12(1): 6

William A. Wurts, State Specialist for Aquaculture
Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program

Several species of tilapia and their hybrids are farmed throughout the world.  The blue tilapia (Tilapia aurea) is a species that has been grown in the United States.  Another commonly cultured species is Tilapia nilotica.  There is evidence to suggest the Egyptians raised tilapia in ponds over 3000 years ago.  Tilapia are also called “Saint Peter’s Fish” because it has been said that they were the fish Peter caught when Christ told him to cast out his nets in the Sea of Galilee.

Tilapia have several attributes which make them attractive as a culture species:  high tolerance of poor water quality and crowding, good performance on commercial catfish feed (32% protein), a high degree of disease resistance, and a mild flavored, white flesh.  Because of their tolerance for poor water quality and crowding, tilapia are well suited to cage culture and recirculating systems.  Research has also shown that in addition to controlling filamentous algae, tilapia stocked in channel catfish ponds can help control off-flavors by eating blue-green and other large planktonic algae.

Tilapia have a good growth rate.  A 2- to 4-ounce tilapia fingerling can reach ¾ lb by the end of a temperate growing season.  Tilapia performance is best in a temperature range of 72-90º F.  Growth and feeding slow when water temperatures drop below 70º F.  However, tilapia are cold intolerant and die when water temperatures are lower than 45-55º F.  Blue tilapia will survive in lower water temperatures (above 45º F) than most other species of tilapia.  The pond production season in Kentucky would begin in late April and end before the middle of October.  Therefore, tilapia harvesting and marketing would be seasonal and within a week or two of the same time each year.  Indoor culture of tilapia in recirculating systems could extend the growing season.

Aquaponics at Kentucky State University Aquaculture Research Center


Information supplied by Angela Caporelli (AGR) email:

“KY requires a “Propagation Permit” through KY Fish and Wildlife. This lets you raise transport and sell fish within the state. If you are transporting out of state your would need transport permits from those receiving state and transit states.

KCARD has helped some fish farming enterprises put together business plans for fish farms and there are several resources through the publications available through the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center. Or SRAC publications.

There are several culture techniques employed in KY with the most being pond culture.  We do have some re-circulating systems, aquaponic systems, cage culture some reservoirs ranching and water discharge systems. . All depending on what you want to raise, they can be species specific.  We raise here: catfish, paddlefish, freshwater prawn, tilapia, large mouth bass and hybrid striped bass,  a little bit of trout and red claw crayfish.”

The best resource for contacts is KY State University, they are one of the top five aquaculture schools in the US and are a wealth of knowledge.


New Global Energy Expands Production of Sustainable Tilapia

Moringa & Green Algae Provides Natural Environment that Results in Healthy Tilapia

Consider recent headlines:

“Why You Should Never Eat Tilapia: Eating Tilapia Is Worse Than Eating Bacon” –

“Researchers Say Antibiotics in Fish a Health Concern” – U.S. News and World Report

“The Truth About Tilapia” – FOX News

“Most of these articles and the negative publicity related to Tilapia refer to Asian-imported Tilapia I wouldn’t eat it! We use no antibiotics or chemicals. Our Tilapia are fed the superfood Moringa and green algae for their first four months in grow-out ponds. These nutrient rich algae and other aquatic plants represent a natural environment,” said Chief Executive Officer Perry D. West.

New Global’s farms are located east of Palm Springs in the heart of the prolific Coachella Valley, California. The region is uniquely suited to grow Tilapia, which is a tropical fish, because of the area’s warm climate, longer daylight hours, longer summers and the availability of warm fresh water from geo-thermally heated wells.

“Our healthy and proprietary fish feeding methodology cuts overall feed costs in half while ensuring high-quality ‘certified and approved’ tilapia that meets the requirements of specialty retailers. By successfully solving critical cost issues through innovation and technical advancement, New Global is fast becoming the leading producer of premium seafood in Southern California and beyond,” said West.

About New Global Energy, Inc.: New Global Energy, Inc. is a public company focused on acquiring high-growth firms, assets and properties in the Green & Renewable Energy industry. The trading symbol is NGEY traded on the OTCBB. New Global Energy seeks to provide consumers with solutions that lower energy costs, create sustainable projects and protect the environment. NGE seeks to consolidate this highly fragmented industry that grosses in excess of $5 trillion per year. New Global’s goals are to research, acquire and develop affordable technologies and properties that significantly reduce our country’s dependency on foreign oil with renewable energy and create sustainable projects in four technologies of focus: Aquaculture, Solar, Agriculture, and Biofuels.

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 –


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 ( ) 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


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