The Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility (NADF), located on the Red Cliff Indian Reservation in Wisconsin, will deliver a coordinated and focused applied research and demonstration program, combined with an aggressive direct-to-farm extension outreach program, to address the needs of fish farms and state, federal, and tribal hatcheries. It will help overcome the unique development and operational challenges of aquaculture in the cold climates of northern states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan and stimulate the sustainable development and growth of Wisconsins aquaculture industry. We will continue building an effective extension program that will transfer information and technology developed at the Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility (NADF), and other Wisconsin aquaculture research laboratories, directly into the hands of current and prospective commercial fish culturists. <P> The specific objectives of this project are to:<OL> <LI> Develop and distribute electronic and written aquaculture extension materials focusing on key factors constraining the growth of Wisconsins aquaculture industry. <LI> Develop and facilitate a coordinated set of aquaculture workshops (3-4 per year) at various locations in Wisconsin, working in coordination with the NADF, the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association (WAA), and responding to the needs and requests of WAA members. <LI> Build and strengthen linkages between the NADF and commercial Wisconsin aquaculturists, focusing on core research and demonstration projects conducted at the NADF.<LI> Develop improved aquaculture education opportunities at the high school, technical college, and university level, in conjunction with core NADF activities. <LI> Build and strengthen linkages between the NADF, commercial Wisconsin aquaculturists, and other state entities and agencies.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Objective 1: Develop electronic and written aquaculture extension materials focusing on key factors constraining the growth of Wisconsin?s aquaculture industry. We propose the following deliverables: Publication outlining current state of the art for training/raising walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge on dry feeds. Publications reviewing small-scale recirculation systems appropriate for cool and warm water species. One publication will focus on yellow perch, and the other on coaster (Lake Superior strain) brook trout. Publication outlining the feasibility of producing lake herring, a new potential cold water aquaculture species. Fish farmer start-up business publication. Video on feed-training pond-raised yellow perch fingerlings, summarizing state-of-the-art methods, and updating current relevant research projects. Publication on floating raceway production techniques Develop three model fish disease Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans, one each for flow-through, pond, and recirculation systems. Fish farm bio-security video in conjunction with a grant from the USDA-North Central Regional Aquaculture Center. Objective 2: Develop and facilitate a coordinated set of aquaculture workshops at various locations in Wisconsin. We propose to do the following: Conduct a series of six, one-day workshops on beginning aquaculture. Conduct a workshop on land stewardship and environmental sustainability. Conduct a workshop on Wisconsin aquaculture rules and regulations. Conduct a series of 6 workshops throughout the North Central Region focusing on biosecurity and methods for minimizing the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and other fish diseases. Conduct a workshop on recirculating aquaculture systems at the NADF facility in Bayfield. Objective 3: Build and strengthen linkages between NADF and commercial Wisconsin aquaculturists. This will include regular meetings of the NADF Industry Advisory, 50 annual site visits at commercial farms to help identify and address constraints and opportunities specific to individual farms, a list-serve and web site. Objective 4: Develop improved aquaculture education opportunities at the high school, technical college, and university level, in conjunction with core NADF activities. We propose to: Support internships at educational institutions as appropriate. Develop an on-line fish producer health assessment course. Develop aquaculture curricula at WI Technical Colleges and high school agriculture programs. Expand the undergraduate aquaculture curricula at UW-Stevens Point to other regional universities through distance learning opportunities at the NADF, UW-Madison, and other appropriate Wisconsin locations. Objective 5: Build and strengthen linkages between NADF, commercial Wisconsin aquaculturists, and other state entities and agencies including Native American tribes. <P>
APPROACH: Each of the five objectives described in this proposal address specific goals described in the Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture Strategic Plan. <P>Objective 1 develops information for and educates seafood consumers, producers, and retailers about proper handling, presentation, and preparation of seafood species and varieties. Extension publications on the analysis and production parameters and costs of yellow perch grow-out, the current state of the art for training/raising walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge on dry feeds, literature review of mercury levels of food fish imported into Wisconsin, fish from wild Wisconsin fisheries, and Wisconsin aquacultured fish, and the scope of zander importation and marketing on Wisconsin and U.S. yellow perch and walleye markets will help educate consumers, producers, and retailers in the region. <P>Objective 2 encourages aquacultures contribution to the enhancement, protection, and maintenance of public and private aquatic resources through health assessment workshops, training and educating prospective aquaculturists through best management practices (BMP), and holding public forums on proper and effective culture techniques of yellow perch. <P>Objective 3 enhances partnerships in support of aquaculture among federal and state agencies and the private sector. The establishment of the NADF Industry Advisory Council will help direct applied research, extension, and outreach activities and priorities at the NADF and disseminate results and information to regional agencies and the private sector. <P>Objective 4 will evaluate options and improve the regulatory framework for aquaculture in support of both commercial and public sector U.S. aquaculture development. Though internships with state and regional educational institutions, the regulatory framework in Wisconsin will be evaluated, tested and improved to help in the development and expansion of aquaculture in the region.<P> Objective 5 also evaluates and improves the regulatory framework for aquaculture development by assisting Wisconsin county/district extension specialists and promoting NADF activities with local northern Wisconsin communities and Native American tribes such as the Redcliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe and the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Fisheries Program. Since this proposal represents an expanded initiative for cooperative applied research, education, and extension service for aquaculture in the cold climates of northern states, anticipated impacts will vary depending on the intended beneficiaries. Briefly, the aquaculture community in Wisconsin has identified a need for improved communication and understanding of scientific results and technologies. The formation of a NADF Industry Advisory Council, expanded use of internet resources, and frequent teleconferences, workshops and forums held at the NADF and throughout Wisconsin have provided for greater knowledge sharing and understanding and support the expansion of aquaculture in the region.