Frequently asked questions

What kind of fish can I raise in Wisconsin?


Salmon, trout, yellow perch, bluegill, walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, bass and minnows are all fish commonly raised in Wisconsin.




What permits do I need to get started?


Depending on the way you plan to operate your aquaculture facility or fish farm ponds, you may need to apply for certain environmental permits from the DNR. Whether you are a new fish farmer or have an established operation you should contact a DNR Fish Farm Environmental Permits Coordinator to find out whether environmental permits are necessary for your facility. Fish farms in Wisconsin need to be registered with DATCP and registration must be renewed annually.




I want to start a fish farm. What options do I have?


There are many differnt options for raising fish including raising and/or selling:

  • Eggs
  • Fry
  • Fingerlings
  • Bait Minnows
  • Pond Stocking
  • Food Fish
  • Processed Fish
  • Fee Fishing
  • Brood Stock
  • Contract Growing
  • Ornamental Fish




What equipment do I need?


If you are raising fish in a pond, there won't be as much equipment needed as if you were raising fish indoors in tanks.

Pumps
Aeration Nets Grading Equipment
Backup Oxygen System Water Test Kit




Can I make a profit farming fish?


Salaries in the aquaculture industry can vary widely based on the position held, the size of the farm, its location, and your prior experience in the industry. SimplyHired.com cited the average income for a fish farmer as $71,000/year in 2019. An aquaculture technician could earn about $35,000/year, while a director of a large commercial operation could earn over $150,000/year. As with most industries, those with specialized knowledge will tend to earn higher salaries than average. According to the SeaGrant program at the University of Connecticut, aquaculture is the fastest growing segment of the entire animal production industry, and has even been called the fastest growing food-producing sector in the world.




What risks and challenges are there in fish farming?


Risks and challenges

  • Fish can be very sensitive to manage and a slight mistake could result in slow growth of your fish or even death which may cause massive revenue loss.
  • Setting up a fish farm requires careful planning and capital input.
  • Due to the cost of production, fish produced from a farm are priced higher than that caught from the rivers and ponds by fishermen. Therefore, if there is good quantity of fisherman’s fish in the market, you may find it difficult to sell as people would prefer the cheaper options.




Are there any fish farms near me?


You can search for farms near you by going to our Find a Fish Farm page on this site.




I've heard farmed fish taste bad. Is that true?


There is really no reason a farmed fish raised in a clean and healthy environment would taste any different than a wild fish. Some even say farmed fish taste better than wild caught. In an article written by "Nation's Restaurant News" chef Maththew Beaudin argues that some of the farm-raised fish he is serving is even better tasting than their wild conterparts stating "Aquaculture has the ability to take it in different directions in terms of taste and flavor. We have found some of the most incredible tasting fish in farms and well-maintained fisheries."





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