Solving Key Biological Problems Limiting the Expansion of the Yellow Perch Aquaculture Industry


The yellow perch is one of the most highly valued food fish in the Great Lakes region, and has the potential to be the basis of a multimillion dollar regional aquaculture industry. The species has many biological characteristics that make it an excellent fish for commercial production, including ready acceptance of commercial feeds, and excellent tolerance of crowding, handling and poor water quality. Two key problems currently limit the expansion of the industry: (1) the slow growth rate of yellow perch, and (2) difficulties producing larval fish. UW-Madison investigators are investigating two novel methods to increase the growth rate of yellow perch. The first is a novel growth-promoting pheromone, and the second is using CRISPR technology to unlock the growth potential of this species. Two technologies are also being evaluated to address problems associated with intensive larval rearing. The first is polyculture with marine rotifers at first feeding, and the second is using laser lights to increase larval acceptance of formulated feeds.