Main Virtual Farm Logo
Home: Farm Pond Aquaculture: Farm Pond Aquaculture in Virginia

Fish farmers in Virginia earn more than $5 million each year from the fish they raise. More than $2 million worth of trout alone are raised and sold each year. Many farmers also raise catfish, hybrid striped bass, Tilapia, and goldfish. Some producers raise game fish, such as largemouth bass and bluegill, for stocking ponds and lakes. Crayfish, bait minnows, and aquatic plants are also part of the freshwater aquaculture harvest.

There are four ways freshwater fish are raised. Trout can be raised in long concrete raceways where there is plenty of fresh, cool, running water. Shallow farm ponds are used to grow many types of fish including catfish and hybrid striped bass. Floating fish cages are used in deep ponds to grow several types of fish. The same ponds can be used to grow catfish in the warm season and trout in the winter. In areas where ponds are scarce, closed or recirculating systems are used. These are large tanks that use filtered water. Tilapia and aquatic plants are often grown in closed systems.

In most cases, fish are spawned in hatcheries and raised to the fingerling size. The fingerlings are then sold to producers who raise the fish to market size.

Raising fish can be risky business. Bad weather, poor water quality, predators, and disease can reduce or even wipe out an entire crop. Aquaculture producers, just like traditional farmers, face many challenges in getting their crop to market to make a living. The next time you take a bite of farm-raised fish, think about what it takes to get that delicious food to your plate.

Home Contents Contact Us About Virtual Farm