What is aquaculture?

Aquaculture involves the culture of food, such as fish, shrimp, shellfish, or algae, in water. In Vermont, aquaculture is a small but growing industry. Along with state-run fish hatcheries, Vermont has a small community of private aquaculturists that have ranged in number, since the mid-1980s, from about 20 to currently seven.

Most aquaculture operations in Vermont produce trout, especially rainbow and brook trout. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department raises the most fish in five state hatcheries, which grow brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, land-locked salmon, walleye, and muskellunge or muskie. All fish are raised for stocking into state waters to benefit the public, and hatcheries are open to the public. Find one near you on the Visit A Hatchery webpage.

Seven private hatcheries operate in Newport, Bakersfield, Wheelock, Starksboro, Charlotte, Randolph Center, and Shrewsbury. Besides trout, the Vermont land-based aquaculture industry also produces shrimp, tilapia, and micro-algae. A hatchery in Paul Smiths, New York, within the Lake Champlain basin, raises heritage strains of brook trout and Atlantic salmon.

How is Lake Champlain Sea Grant helping to advance land-based aquaculture?

Lake Champlain Sea Grant contributes to U.S. food security and sovereignty by supporting land-based aquaculture. We are dedicated to innovative solutions and committed to providing technical and logistical support to existing and new fish farmers. We recognize the need for alternative solutions in the dairy farm industry and view aquaculture in the Lake Champlain basin as an option worth exploring.

Lake Champlain Sea Grant strives to close the information gap about aquaculture and fisheries and what aquaculture can do for local communities and the planet if done correctly and with integrity. We tell the stories of Vermont aquaculturists so consumers understand what they are buying and its importance to the local economy. We work with local educators and students, from grade school to college-level, to raise awareness about local fish, integrate the science concepts of aquaculture, and get the next generation excited about raising fish and other foods.


For more information, contact John Brawley: John.Brawley [at]