For the City Times
STEVENS POINT — Three Great Lakes projects by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point have received nearly $600,000 in funding from the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
These include two projects of Biology Professor Chris Hartleb, director of UW-Stevens Point’s Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility in Bayfield. For one, he is working with several of this facility’s researchers to raise a hybrid walleye known as saugeye as a potential species for the state’s $21 million aquaculture industry.
“Walleye fry (offspring) are notorious for being difficult during the first month of their life,” Hartleb said. “The research will include using new starter microdiets for these fish as well as expand the facility’s aquaculture industry outreach program through in-person training and online videos.”
Through the second project, Hartleb will assess the marketing needs of local fish farmers to understand consumer perceptions about local foods and farm-raised Wisconsin fish and help grow the state’s aquaculture businesses.
The third project involves researchers from the Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, which works with the College of Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point. The researchers will join those from other UW campuses, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to look at the food web interactions among walleyes, lake whitefish and yellow perch in Green Bay.
“A better understanding of these interactions is needed because changes in the status of one species is likely to affect fisheries for all three species,” said Daniel Isermann, unit leader and an assistant professor of fisheries and water resources at UW-Stevens Point. These interactions also could have socio-economic consequences that should be considered as part of the decision-making process, he said.
The entire University of Wisconsin Seat Grant Institute $2.8 million grant for 2018-20 will support 19 projects that explore the freshwater seas. Conceived in 1966, Sea Grant is a national network of 33 university-based programs of research, outreach and education for the practical use and conservation of coastal, ocean and Great Lakes resources to create a sustainable economy and environment. For more information, go to seagrant.wisc.edu.