Developing standardized procedures to increase production of saleable yellow perch fingerlings year-round

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2022: $18,651.00
Projected End Date: 01/15/2024
Grant Recipient: The Farmory
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Annie Schmitz
Woods and Waters Fish Farm
Paula Schultz
The Farmory


  • Animals: fish


  • Animal Production: aquaculture
  • Education and Training: demonstration, mentoring, technical assistance, youth education
  • Production Systems: aquaponics

    Proposal summary:

    Freshwater fish have long been a part of Wisconsin’s economy and culture.. However, due to aquatic invasive species, over-fishing, and other environmental factors, the natural fisheries have been decimated. The Farmory aims to reintroduce locally-grown yellow perch and decrease the need for imported fish. The Farmory uses indoor tank aquaculture to spawn and raise yellow perch fingerlings, which are suitable to be grown out for food or used for stocking local ponds and lakes.


    The Farmory continues to explore, document, and improve upon its processes with larval yellow perch. For that purpose, The Farmory proposes the installation of two shallow-set aquaculture tanks similar to the ones used at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. When compared to The Farmory’s taller tanks, shallow-set tanks have shown increased rates of proper swim bladder inflation in yellow perch larvae, as well as reductions in the resulting spine deformities. These improvements will significantly increase the number of saleable fish per hatch and provide a profit over the long term. While yellow perch are an uncommon choice for indoor aquaculture systems due to the difficulty of cultivation, The Farmory is dedicated to creating a reliable and replicable process that other aquaculturists may follow.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Expand capacity of the current biosecure aquaculture system to increase the quality and quantity of percids produced.
    2. Track rate of deformities and increase the number of saleable yellow perch.
    3. Develop standardized processes for indoor spawning and hatching of yellow perch that are replicable for aquaculturists.
    4. Share standardized processes and lessons learned with fellow collaborators, FarmoryWorks students and other aquaculturists through its current FarmoryWorks program and webinars.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.