February 6, 2002 | By: Laura Skillman

Kentucky Lake will play host to the Kentucky Aquaculture Industry Development Conference 2002 on March 8-9.

The event will focus on catfish and freshwater shrimp, two areas of aquaculture that have seen growth in Kentucky in recent years.

A tour of the Purchase Area Aquaculture Cooperative's processing plant and fingerling ponds will begin at 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 8 in Tri City with a fish fry to follow at the farm of John Murdock, cooperative chairman.

Saturday's morning sessions at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park will include an overview of Kentucky's aquaculture industry along with discussions on marketing and developing cooperatives. Speakers will include producers and specialists from Kentucky State University, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, and Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Leo Ray, a fish producer from Idaho, will be a special guest at the conference. Ray will provide a national perspective based on his marketing experiences.

As with any new industry, Kentucky aquaculture faces marketing challenges, said Bill Wurts, a KSU aquaculture specialist based in Princeton. The big thing is finding, establishing and developing markets, he said.

In addition to selling their product, producers also face production challenges. Wurts and Shawn Coyle, also with KSU, will discuss these challenges at the conference.

After lunch, the focus will be on production issues in shrimp such as water quality and use of substrate. Field problems encountered in 2001 catfish production will be discussed along with how to identify problems and which procedures to follow.

The meeting is hosted by the Kentucky Aquaculture Association and Kentucky State University. Following the program, the KAA will hold its annual business meeting. Cost of the conference is $100 per person which includes KAA membership. There is an additional charge for spouses to attend the conference.

For more information on the conference contact Wurts at (270) 365-7541 or wwurts@uky.edu. For a registration form and lodging information, go to the KSU aquaculture web site, www.ksuaquaculture.org. The form can be accessed by clicking on the calendar. Pre-registration is required and special room rates are available through Feb. 21.


Bill Wurts, (270) 365-7541