USDA scientists in West Virginia and Maine are working to discover the best ways to produce fish that live in cool and cold water in a closed system. One of the systems being looked at uses as little as 4% new water each day, which means that a complete water exchange only takes place every 25 days. This new re-circulating systems technology has allowed researchers to raise fish efficiently with a limited amount of water.
Steven Summerfelt at the Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, believes this miserly use of water also allows re-circulating fish farm systems to be located in many places where traditional aquaculture wouldn't work.
Twenty years ago, it was believed that trout couldn't thrive in a water re-circulating system. In Leetown, West Virginia scientists are working with trout, a fish that needs especially pristine water in order to live and thrive. They will not eat enough feed to grow if conditions aren't right.