The Gadsden State Community College Aquaculture Department will be recycling real Christmas trees this year. Trees may be dropped off 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. Last year, Gadsden State became the first group to spawn the yellow perch in the Southeastern United States. According to Dr. Hugh Hammer, aquaculture instructor, “The growing season is slightly longer in the southern states and we are currently growing out the first group of perch that were born last winter.” The demand for these fish continues to increase as the retail prices around the Great Lakes average $10-15 per pound for the fillets. The price is high because wild fisheries for yellow perch have been consistently declining for the last several years while demand has steadily increased. “Many fish farmers depend on Gadsden State for fingerlings and research,” added Hammer.