February 17, 2021

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The lack of yellow perch in the Great Lakes system has led to the need for some in our area to get creative in order to replenish the supply.

Claire Thompson is the Executive Director of the Farmory and they are working to replenish the numbers of this Wisconsin favorite fish.  “The Farmory is an urban aquaculture, aquaponics farm and fish hatchery located right here in downtown Green Bay,” said Thompson.

The Farmory raises the Green Bay strain of yellow perch in captivity because they need help to thrive as young fish.  “We decided we want to focus on yellow perch because there’s not a lot of perch farming going on in Wisconsin and try to figure out how to do that well enough to get people in the business of growing out yellow perch,” said Thompson.

In the wild Green Bay yellow perch take two years to reach maturity but here in these ideal conditions, the Farmory can grow them in a single year.

“Here at the Farmory we’re applying new technologies in a controlled environment so we can get as many of those little babies to grow out as we can so people can buy them from us as seed stock and grow them out in their home system or as a business,” said Thompson.

Emma Ray, an Americorps Vista Member with the Farmory said, “I get to work in the educational side of it as well and a lot of my experience has been doing the boots on the ground, the fieldwork, getting dirty with the fish. And now I get to be a representative and inspire the next generation in the STEM field.”

The farmory sold their first group of young fish to sixty customers who continue to raise them until they can be harvested.