The average American consumes more than 17 pounds of fish or seafood per year—most of it imported from other countries. But organizers of Wisconsin's second annual statewide Fish Farm Day are out to change that.
Nine fish farms around the state will open their doors to the public to promote Wisconsin aquaculture and the importance of buying locally grown fish at Fish Farm Day on Aug. 15. The Wisconsin Aquaculture Association, member fish farms and the University of Wisconsin-Extension are sponsoring the event.
Free activities at individual fish farms will include tours, demonstrations and talks on the importance of eating locally grown fish, as well as information about pond management and weed control. A number of events are designed for families and children. Participants can learn about raising fish, culture techniques, and fish health programs--or just have fun fishing.
UW-Extension aquaculture specialists will attend the event to answer questions about fish farming.
"Anyone who wants to see what aquaculture, or fish farming, is all about--or who simply wants to know where they can buy fresh Wisconsin-raised fish--should plan to attend," says Ron Johnson, UW-Extension aquaculture outreach specialist.
Wisconsin's aquaculture is a $21 million industry, with over 125 fish farm businesses raising fish for food, recreation, bait and stocking.
State fish farmers raise fresh, healthful, high quality fish at aquaculture facilities across Wisconsin. There are no suggested restrictions on the consumption of fish raised in the state.
Johnson notes that Wisconsin aquaculture is diverse, with farmers raising trout, yellow perch, and bluegills for food; walleye, northern pike, muskie and bass for stocking; and minnows for bait. Wisconsin fish from aquaculture facilities are veterinarian-certified healthy.
There is no cost to visit the fish farm or for demonstrations or talks; individual farms may charge for fishing or purchase of their products.
Go to wisconsinaquaculture.com for a listing of farms that will be open for tours on Fish Farm Day; click on "Events" to download the listing.