[permaculture] Aquaculture opportunity in Driftless bioregion of Wisconsin

mIEKAL aND qazingulaza at gmail.com
Mon Jul 6 09:12:40 EDT 2009

I neglected to include the owner's email.  Please contact them  
directly if you are interested in more information:

tpalace at gmail.com

(This is located within 5 miles of 3 long term permaculture projects.)


• 250+ Gallons per minute spring-fed, flow through system, no pumping
• Twelve cement raceways housed in a metal pole building
• Includes inventory of Kamloop Rainbow Trout, fingerlings to one pound
• Completely licensed
• Type 2 Fish Farm Registration
• Veterinary Health Assessment
• Food Processing License
• HACCP plan
• Equipment for hatching, rearing and live hauling
• 2,000 square foot, owner-built home (1994), wood heat with propane
back-up. Three bedrooms, 2 ½ baths. Licensed fish processing room
inside the house.
• Quiet, rural setting on 15 mostly wooded acres. Several large
vegetable and perennial gardens, managed organically
• 30 X 40 foot shed with loft and firewood storage
• Member Wisconsin Aquaculture Association and U.S. Trout Growers

We have been in business for over twenty years and have decided to
sell the farm in order to pursue other interests. Our approach has
always been part-time, as we worked other jobs and were raising a
family, but there is good potential for expansion. In addition to the
trout farm, we are selling a lifestyle. This was a wonderful setting
to raise our children, allowing one parent to stay home while they
were young. We have also raised our own food between the fish,
chickens and gardens. We would feel blessed to pass this opportunity
on to another generation.

Asking price: $300,000

Operation Details
A major selling point of this trout operation is the possession of the
hatchery license. It is impossible to construct a farm (i.e. license
a new facility) now due to restrictions imposed by the Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources. However, our hatchery license will
be grandfathered to the new owner and renewed annually upon
application. Another advantage of our particular facility is the
building which houses the fish, protecting them from predators such as
birds, raccoons and mink, which can consume a substantial portion of
your livestock.

We do not maintain our own brood stock, instead purchasing eggs
usually about 40,000 at a time, once or twice per year. Our farm was
originally designed to raise fingerlings to about 8-10”, so we keep
one raceway drained for our hatching equipment. When the fry are
established and trained onto feed, they are transferred to one of the
raceways. As they grow, they are graded and split into additional
raceways according to size. Water quality is controlled through
vacuuming of solid waste into a settling tank. Fish manure is pumped
onto the gardens spring and fall or as needed.

This business was built on sales of live trout, mainly stocking
privately owned spring ponds in southwestern Wisconsin. Our customer
base has also included other trout farms within the state, rod and gun
clubs, lake associations, and “pay to fish” operations. Contract
sales are available through the WDNR and occasionally through the
federal government. We are active members of the Wisconsin
Aquaculture Association, which provides a network between farmers for
supplies, sales, education and general support.

In addition to live trout sales, we have sold dressed trout to
groceries and restaurants and smoked trout direct retail to local
customers. We also have developed a product called Smoked Trout
Pate’, which sells really well around Holiday Season. We make it in
three flavors and sell it in 8oz. frozen logs. It ships well and we
have sold it in gift boxes as well as direct retail.

We have not demonstrated the full earning capacity of this operation.
As previously stated, we have always approached it as a sideline, a
source of secondary income, a vehicle to support our lifestyle and
family values. However, we have taken advantage of the low overhead
and fixed costs of a small farm, which keeps production cost low and
provides a better margin compared to larger operations. This farm has
provided enough net income to pay our mortgage and utilities with a
small amount of effort, requiring only about ten hours per week. We
believe there is good potential for the right manager to take the
Trout Palace to the next level and would be happy to discuss our ideas
in further detail with interested parties.

Jim and Cathy Pierce
E14214 County Road D
La Farge, WI 54639

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