Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Hi All, I am trying to build a hoop house and aquaponics system in my backyard this summer and I was wondering if there was any Northern california, Bay Area,Valley, or Hills members or set ups that I could visit.  Any good training programs, suppliers I can learn from?

Thx much!!

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That's not me, just pirated that from Bloody Decks forum.  I think that is from Crowley Lake

I love DFG, Vlad.  I use the term "dickheads" affectionately.  We can all debate logic, morality, environmental concerns, etc., but what cannot be debated is that DFG is lying when they tell folks that tilapia are illegal.  And it makes it more difficult to trust the reasoning of liars once you expose the lie.  Like I said, I'm a big boy, DFG can give it to me straight.

The brown trout double-standard comes from two local friends.  One sits on DFG board and hears cases for funding of eradication of brown trout (and oodles of other invasives) where they are "not wanted", and another friend is applying for grant money for hatching browns (supposedly late stage approval).  I don't have anything more than hearsay, but it is par for the course according to fingerling clients of mine who have direct dealings with extreme DFG corruption.  That's another story all together.

I'm not actually ready for the fish yet, just wanted to find a source for when the time comes.

What about bringing those fish from NV across state lines into CA??

Jon Parr said:

They were the last two from a biologist who was finished with his project, he got them from U C Davis, I believe.  I need some more, so I'll keep you posted if I find any more.  If I can't locate them soon, I think I'll try and fish up a few from Pyramid Lake, NV.  Wanna join me?  They are not native in NV, and so there is not even a bag limit as I understand.  I saw a pic of a couple of guys holding a stringer of like 50 of them from there last summer.

Bigger problem Averan might be training wild caught fish to eat pellet feed.

@Jon...Yeah, I hear ya...I can't purchase live (they call all trout "California" trout for some reason here) trout here for my little AP greenhouse. Non native-invasive blala...but yet the cousin of some lap-dog who works for one of the local chieftains/petty official can purchase (or otherwise obtain), breed and release them from his hatchery into the river for the little fishing gig he operates...with no problems whatsoever. Corruption is par for the course here.

Averan,there may be a  law against it, or an exemption to apply for.  It is illegal to supply your own aquaculture stock from public waters in California, not sure about hobby fish. So odds are you can't legally acquire a broodstock, but once you have your broodstock, it is legal to buy and sell fingerlings for hobby purposes without any permit or involvement from DFG.  I once asked warden about collecting ocean species for my saltwater tank.  He said yes, as long as it is a legal take, size, season, etc., and I must have a current fishing license.  If he was right, and the law remains the same, then we could take Sac Perch from a Cali lake in season, and go from there.  I'll look into it. Sac Perch have larval fry, so just possessing them is the beginning of the battle of propagating them.  My biologist friend says you need tons of rotifers

TC, I figure I'll keep the broodstock fed on wild food.  I have Sac Perch now that are pellet trained, but they don't like my aquamax 4000.  Not wanting to risk losing them to starvation, I feed them tilapia fry and earthworms, which they love and are easy to supply.  I figure if I can get some to spawn and pass the larval phase, then I can experiment with pellet feed.



I see you're not passonite or


I agree about the unrational fear of Tilapia. I don't think a vegetarian fish is going to do well against a Large Mouth Bass!

I have spoken to my local CA DFG and he said Tilapia come up at every meeting. The aquaculture growers are pushing hard for "legalization/permission"

Hopefully we can all work together with our DFG since Aquaponics does not really fit into any of their catagories.





Actually, Todd, I hope we maintain our present position with DFG, safely out of their jurisdiction and fee schedule.  I haven't priced 2012 fees, but 2011 fee for  a new aquaculture permit was $716, and $901.50 for renewal ($326.50 renewal + $539.50 surcharge if previous year grossed $25K).  And for what? To be harrased by liars.


I just opened my Aq Permit Ap from last year.  This is quoted directly from the DFG packet that accompanies the application:


"Who must register

1. anyone who for commercial purposes rears or maintains live aquatic plants or animals in brackish, marine or fresh water.

2. anyone who for commercial purposes rears or maintians live aquatic plants or animals for food, bait, or for stocking in waters of the State.

3. owners/operators of ponds where guests or customers are allowed to fish for a fee or allowed to fish for a fee or allowed to take fish without regard to angling licenses, seasons, gear restrictions, or bag limits


Aquaculture registration is NOT required for:

1. the rearing or maintenance of koi or goldfish IN CLOSED SYSTEMS for personal, pet, or hobby purposes.

2. the sale or cultivation of brine shrimp

3. the sale or cultivation of tropical species or ornamental aquatic plants or animals, not utilized for human consumption or bait purposes, but maintained IN CLOSED SYSTEMS and utilized by the pet industry or hobbyists"


End quote.  So, by DFG's policy, AP systems are exempt under line 3, being both closed systems,  and hobby.  Even the sale of species for said purposes are exempt.  I'd like to keep it that way. And I don't think actual aquaculture growers are pushing like your local DFG dickhead claims.  There is no profitable market for tilapia in Cali, unless you could build a demand for it at farmers markets and restaurants.  You can buy live tilapia (raised in Washington state, I was told at Ranch99) at every major asian market for $1.99/lb, at least a dozen in the bay area. That's live tilapia of your choice, fileted or cleaned to your liking on the spot.  After you build the infrastructure to raise fish, feed the fish, heat the water, catch and transport fish to market, and donate $901 to DFG every year, where is the profit?  DFG may be getting pushed by Joes like us that think they can build a commercial business, but not real NorCal aquaculture growers.  In SoCal heating is less of an issue, and DFG openly grants permits there, so maybe a different story.

Averan, just looked up broodstock regs.  For Commercial Aquaculture:

"You can obtain broodstock from the following sources:


1. another licensed aquaculturist

2. a licensed commercial fisherman

3. you may import broodstock (except bullheads or catfish) for aquaculture purposes (see section on importation)


If stocks are not available from a commercial source in California, the Department may issue permits to registered aquaculturists to collect certain wild aquatic plants or animals for use in developing a domestic broodstock.  Although the progeny of plants and animals taken under a Wild Broodstock Collection Permit are the property of the permitee, the original stock collected remain property of the State and may not be bartered, traded or sold. Permit applications and copies of pertinent laws and regulations are available from the Department of Fish and Game, Fisheries Branch, 830 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811, telephone (916)539-2028."


End quote.  Again, however, hobby growers have eked by this requirement.  Hobby growers may "take" fish and plants in season with a valid fishing license for consumption and possession, including keeping alive in an enclosed system. AND, we may import them without a permit.

"Title 14, California Code of Regulation, Sections pertaining to Aquaculture

The Provisions of this section shall apply to the importaion of all live aquatic plants and animals.

(a) No person shall import into this state any prohibited species of live aquatic plant or animal listed to pursuant to Section 2118 of the Fish and Game Code, or Section 671 of these regulations unless specifically authorized by the commision.

(b)Unless specifically prohibited by these regulations, plants and animals within the following groups MAY BE IMPORTED WITHOUT AN IMPORTATION PERMIT from the department.


(2) Live ornamental tropical marine or freshwater plants or animals that are not utilized for human consumption or bait purposes, are maintained in closed systems for personal, pet industry or hobby purposes, and which will not be placed in waters of the state.



End quote.  Bingo! We are good to go in Cali or Nevada. Get your fishing pole and beer cooler, time's a wastin'

Hey Peter!

I'm going to be moving to Columbia in a couple of months and want to set up a system there on my daughter's organic farm. I'm a newbie, but have been researching like crazy for a few months - full of half-baked ideas. Susie Gehri is also in Sonora. I want to build a hoop house/AP too.Let's collaborate. I've been in contact with Max Meyers of Norcal Aquaponics in Willits and it sounds like he's got some good training happening. I still havent figured out what species of fish/crustacean would be best for the area - have you? well, good luck, and hope to connect with you.

I must be reading this all differently, but it says it's ok as long as the fish aren't for consumption.  But we all intend to eat these fish, so therefore we are NOT exempt at all.

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