Aquaculture Days virtual event connects public with fish farmers and local fish

If you’re interested in sustainable farming practices and how fish gets to your plate, an upcoming virtual event is for you.  The second annual Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Days will take place Aug. 31 through Sept. 2. This year, the event is moving from a single day to three days of fun-filled aquaculture learning opportunities!

The interactive event will showcase the region’s fish and seafood production through virtual farm tours, live interviews with farmers and Q&A sessions. 

The event is free and open to the public.  Registration is required. Farm tours begin at 2 and 3 p.m. central time each day (3 and 4 p.m. Eastern). Tours last approximately 15 minutes, followed by live interviews and Q&A with the featured farmers.

The event will showcase farms across the Great Lakes region that have been successful in creating viable businesses, producing high quality products and limiting their environmental impacts.  Farm tours will highlight different aquaculture methods. Each farm is privately owned and operates in a unique way, producing a variety of different species. Attendees will learn about the diversity of aquaculture operations in the Great Lakes region.

The farm tour lineup is as follows: 

  • Aug. 31, 2 p.m.: Branch River Trout Hatchery, Wisconsin – raceways in combination with a winery
  • Aug. 31, 3 p.m.: Cedar Brook Trout Farm, Michigan – trout raceways
  • Sept. 1, 2 p.m.: Hickling’s Fish Farm, New York – bass and trout raceways and ponds
  • Sept. 1, 3 p.m.: Ozark Fisheries, Indiana/Missouri – pond and flowthrough
  • Sept. 2, 2 p.m.: Ripple Rock Fish Farms, Ohio  – recirculating aquaculture system
  • Sept. 2, 3 p.m.: Lincoln Bait LLC, Minnesota – bait farm

The event is hosted by the Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative, which is a project of Sea Grant programs across the Great Lakes region working to share resources and promote best practices throughout the aquaculture industry. Wisconsin Sea Grant is a member of this effort; for more Wisconsin-related information about Aquaculture Days, contact Titus Seilheimer, fisheries outreach specialist.

Attendees will have opportunities to interact with other participants through the question-and-answer sessions at the end of each farm tour. These sessions also offer a chance to pick the brains of experienced aquaculture operators across the region. 

Globally, aquaculture is the fastest growing sector of agriculture. It now accounts for more than 50% of the world’s seafood production, surpassing production from wild-caught fisheries. However, in the United States, the growth of aquaculture has been stagnant, and seafood supply from U.S.-based, wild-caught fisheries is not enough to meet the national demand. One result is a $14 billion seafood trade deficit. 

The U.S. aquaculture industry has the potential for growth, especially in the Great Lakes region, where abundant inland freshwater resources have enabled a handful of aquaculture operations that employ a local workforce and produce sustainable, healthy and tasty fish. 

In Wisconsin, consumers can learn more about fish that is both farmed and wild-caught in the state by visiting, a project of Wisconsin Sea Grant. The site includes recipes, information about producers, health facts and more.

For more information about Great Lakes Aquaculture Days 2021 or to register, visit or contact Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator Elliot Nelson, For information about the Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative, contact Minnesota Sea Grant Extension Educator Amy Schrank,