January 16, 2009

Two aquaculture workshops will be offered by Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension for those who are involved with or might be considering small-scale aquaculture.

The Small-Scale, Home Use and Recreational Aquaculture Workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 28 at the KSU Aquaculture Research Center, 103 Athletic Road, Frankfort. Sessions will cover low-input shrimp farming, managing bass and bluegill in farm ponds, small-scale catfish farming, pond construction and liming ponds. William Wurts, senior state specialist for aquaculture, said the sessions are designed to show a landowner options for using a small existing pond or constructing a new one. The workshop will not cover large-scale commercial fish production.

"This workshop is for the small producer or landowner. It's a way for them to see what the opportunities are in a small-scale aquaculture venture," he said.

Those opportunities range from personal recreational use to small-scale local sales. The end result of a small-scale aquaculture venture is entirely up to the landowner, Wurts said.

Extension will also offer an aquatic plant and algae control training program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27 at the same location. Aquatic plant and algae identification, methods of control, herbicide and algaecide use and recreational pond management will be discussed. The program will emphasize proper chemical selection and application techniques, record keeping and applicator safety.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Division of Environmental Services has approved the trainings for two general hours and three specific hours of CEU credit for categories 5, 10 and 12.

Both workshops are free and open to the public. Wurts encourages producers, landowners and extension agents to attend. No registration is necessary.

For more information, contact Wurts by phone 270-365-7541, ext. 200 or e-mail at wwurts@uky.edu or Forrest Wynne, aquaculture extension specialist in Graves County, 270-247-2334 or fwynne@email.uky.edu.

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