Aquaponic Gardening

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Here is an E-mail I received from the DFG:
Hi Chi:
Currently we will not approve any tilapia for aquaponics in Northern California.  The only approved sources of tilapia in Southern California have all now hybridized and one can not distinguish between the 2-3 approved species in Southern California.  This species is highly adaptable and the Department biologists believe that  given time this species can adapt to our winter temperatures.  Similar to largemouth bass that were thought not able to survive over winter in our Delta once upon a time and now are found everywhere.
 
Currently the Department requires an Aquaculturist license to raise any fish species for human consumption, which quite expensive for the small time Aquaponic set up.   We are leaning towards developing a different license for the small time aquaponic set ups and possibly allowing 1 or 2 species of tilapia to be used if bought from a certified vendor.  This will have to go before the Fish and Game Commission for approval though.  So in short not yet, but we are working on acceptable conditions for their use.
 
George Neillands
Senior Environmental Scientist
Bay-Delta Region
7329 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
7329 Silverado Trail
Office: (707) 944-5525
Fax: (707) 944-5563
cell: (707) 307-3794
gneillands@dfg.ca.gov

"FLEX YOUR POWER"

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Replies to This Discussion

Chi, thanks for sharing this, at least we have a clear statement.  I am no fan of the DFG in light of what they are trying to do to the residents of Siskiyou County and the Klamath River watershed.  I for one will never purchase a license for the right to feed my family and friends.

Hi Chi,  yes, thanks for sharing that.  FYI I live walking distance from state DFG HQ in Sac.  A couple years ago I started trying to chase down just what was the DFG's position toward aquaponics, including tilapia.  Got a lot of inconsistent info (but re tilapia north of Tehachapi Mountains, pretty consistent with the info you got).  Have not pursued it lately but would like to.  Did hear a rumor this summer that they were working on some sort of policy specifically addressing aquaponics. I'll try to track that down and will report if I find any solid info.

Hi, I called the DFG today and inquired about the Inland Aquaculture Coordinator position.  I was hoping to get in and enable aquaponics, but they did not seem like they knew what they were doing, just spending our taxes.

Good luck, Steve. Common sense is not a qualifying trait at DFG. Tell them you have a way that they can pull in some bribe money, and you will get the position for sure.

Chi, I have a simlar letter from George Neillands, and he acknowledges that tilapia ARE legal, and there is no law to support DFG's anti-tilapia policy. Any DFG staff that says they are illegal is lying, and any threat of fines or repercussions is harassment and fraudulent. They work for us, don't let them play god, bastards. Did that sound bitter? They do however have jurisdiction to deny any aquaculture permit on a whim, so don't go planning anything commercial.

On a side note, I have Cali native Sac Perch and Sac Blackfish, if anyone is interested. Very excited about the perch, they are cali's only native sunfish, and were everywhere in Cali freshwater before bluegill were introduced.

Hey Jon,

Getting some sort of clarity re: California regulations as they apply to aquaponics is one interest of mine (though not nearly as fun to pursue as hands-on aquaponics stuff, of course!).  Can you post your letter from G. Neillands on this forum Jon, or email me a copy (joezbro@gmail.com)?  Thanks. 



Jon Parr said:

Good luck, Steve. Common sense is not a qualifying trait at DFG. Tell them you have a way that they can pull in some bribe money, and you will get the position for sure.

Chi, I have a simlar letter from George Neillands, and he acknowledges that tilapia ARE legal, and there is no law to support DFG's anti-tilapia policy. Any DFG staff that says they are illegal is lying, and any threat of fines or repercussions is harassment and fraudulent. They work for us, don't let them play god, bastards. Did that sound bitter? They do however have jurisdiction to deny any aquaculture permit on a whim, so don't go planning anything commercial.

On a side note, I have Cali native Sac Perch and Sac Blackfish, if anyone is interested. Very excited about the perch, they are cali's only native sunfish, and were everywhere in Cali freshwater before bluegill were introduced.

sure:

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: George Neillands a href="mailto:GNeillands@dfg.ca.gov">GNeillands@dfg.ca.gov>
To: Debbie Hultman a href="mailto:DHULTMAN@dfg.ca.gov">DHULTMAN@dfg.ca.gov>, Director a href="mailto:DIRECTOR@dfg.ca.gov">DIRECTOR@dfg.ca.gov>
Cc: Carl Wilcox a href="mailto:CWilcox@dfg.ca.gov">CWilcox@dfg.ca.gov>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2011 15:52:06 -0700
Subject: Re: Fwd: Tilapia and jade perch
Hi Jon:
Michelle Leicester is my District Fisheries Biologist for your area.
She is correct in following the Regional Policy of keeping tilapia out
of our region.

Current Regulations:  In the Title 14 section 671, four species of
tilapia are restricted: Tilapia sparrmani, Tilapia zillii, Tilapia aurea
(as called Orechromis aureus), and Tilapia nilotica (as called
Orechromis niloticus). Only T. zillii can be imported, transported and
possessed in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego
and Imperial counties.  There are no other restrictions or regulations
for tilapia.

The Colorado River and the Salton Sea have resident tilapia
populations. These populations no longer are of single species but have
quickly hybridized into one single population of random mating hybrids,
which indicates how adaptable this species really is. Tilapia are
present in areas with connections to these water bodies.  Since, tilapia
are present in southern California waters, the Department has allowed
tilapia to be reared and possessed in counties south of the Tehachapi
Mountain range.  Due to the wide biological tolerances of tilapia
species, the Department has not allowed any tilapia species in northern
California.

Current regulations lack sufficient detail to support the
Department’s intention to maintain tilapia in southern California.

 

(NOTE: I cut out a lengthy recommended new proposal spelling out a southern Cal tilapia allowed area by county, and an unrelated answer to importing jade perch. --Jon)


George Neillands
Senior Fisheries Biologist
Bay-Delta Region
P. O. Box 47
Yountville, CA 94599
7329 Silverado Trail
Office: (707) 944-5525
Fax: (707) 944-5563
cell: (707) 307-3794
gneillands@dfg.ca.gov

"FLEX YOUR POWER"

Thanks Jon.

Jon,

I'm definitely interested in learning more about Sacramento perch; I've been reading up on them and think they may be suitable for a project I have in mind.

Great topic and thanks for the responses. Jon pleasure speaking to you.
Your welcome, all. I'll keep you posted on the Sac Perch, hope to have a spawn in a month or two.

Hey Jon- Any update on the Perch?

Yep. Sacramento perch fry should be ready in a couple weeks. They are about an inch long right now, and getting stronger fast.

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