Drop off Christmas Trees for Recycling
The Gadsden State Aquaculture Department will be recycling real Christmas trees this year. Trees may be dropped off outside the gates in front of the Aquaculture building located on the Wallace Drive Campus.
The tree branches will be placed in the ponds to encourage the spawning of yellow perch. In 2009, Gadsden State became the first group to spawn the yellow perch in the Southeastern United States. According to Dr. Hugh Hammer, aquaculture instructor, “Aquaculture professionals across the country continue to follow our Yellow Perch work here because they had never been successfully spawned and grown in this part of the country before we did it here. We will be breeding our third generation this year and we are ready to move to the next phase of production.”
The Aquaculture Department will be providing several farms in Alabama and Tennessee with fingerlings so that the farmers can grow the fish here and then ship them to a processing facility in Columbus, Ohio for sale. The growing season in this part of the U.S. is about 30% longer than in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin where they are currently grown in small amounts. The catch out of the great lakes has been consistently declining for the last decade while demand has steadily increased. Last year the demand for yellow perch was estimated to be 33 million pounds and the supply was just over 10 million pounds. Retail prices for yellow perch average $10-15 per pound for the fillets. “Many fish farmers depend on Gadsden State for fingerlings and research,” added Hammer.