Major Aquaculture Projects and Cooperative Research
PAS provides information on the feasibility, design and construction of new production sites as well as the evaluation of existing sites. These production sites rely on PAS to market their products and to guide further expansion plans. PAS is also working with fish producers and researchers in China, Taiwan and other countries to introduce new species such as striped bass. PAS contracts with existing farms covering all aspects of the business including breeding, spawning, rearing, marketing, processing and distribution of fish.
Technical, Marketing, Financial, and Political Expertise
As part of our site evaluations, we provide technical, marketing, and financial skills, as well as a thorough knowledge of political issues to overcome restrictions to aquaculture promulgated by permit requirements and regulations, to the process. Humboldt Bay California Aquaculture innovation site.
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Project Tracking and Assistance
ProAquaculture inc. provides project tracking and assistance in following a time line for business development, construction, product development and marketing. Rice/fish production.
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Foreign Experts Program, US Department of Commerce
Mr. Vaught is member of the Exchange of Foreign Experts Program overseen by the US Department of Commerce.
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Estates, Wineries and Private Recreational Facilities
Consultation on upscale ponds, lakes and water features include estates, wineries and private recreational facilities
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Fisheries Research
ProAquaculture Inc. transports fish used in fisheries research such as these salmon slated for release in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta.
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Market Trends
Our marketing team follows trends of seafood buyers, watching fish sales worldwide.
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Technology and New Husbandry Techniques
Fish raised in rice fields has been done for hundreds of years. ProAquaculture is bringing technology and new husbandry techniques to and age old idea.
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Aquaculture Production
Developing a footprint for aquaculture production that co-exists with the natural surroundings is a specialty of our design team.
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Our experience allows us to look outside traditional aquaculture to incorporate other uses and opportunities for an aquaculture site.
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Aquaponics Consulting
Aquaponics is a fast growing segment of aquaculture. Proper design, training of staff as well as ongoing advise is important to success. We have been involved in facility design, choice of fish species as well as product and brand development for aquaponics.
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Conway Ranch
The Conway Ranch in Mono County is a county owned cold water aquaculture facility. ProAqua conducted a site evaluation and footprint for future production needs of trophy trout for recreational lakes in the area.
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Spawning of Striped Bass: 1. Adult Collection
Adult striped bass are collected during the spawning season (April-June) on the Sacramento River between Knights Landing and Colusa using an electro-fishing boat with support from California Department of Fish and Game. Adult females are catheterized & evaluated onboard for egg status and adult males for sperm production prior to transport.
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Fish Production in Rice fields
ProAqua. designed, supervised the construction and planted three species of fish in a pilot project investigating the use of fallow rice fields for production of fish. Capturing natural occurring nutrients and protein to be transferred into fish growth.
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Spawning of Striped Bass: 2. Broodstock Husbandry
River collected striped bass are transported to the UC Davis Putah Creek fish facility and transferred into 12? diameter tanks. Both domestic and rivercollected females are injected with 150 IU/kg Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (Hcg) to induce spawning. Males are injected with 75 IU/kg Hcg to increase sperm production . Fish are maintained in holding facilities at 19-20 ?C until eggs ripen which occurs 24-48 hours post-injection. In parallel, domestic broodstock (F-3 generation) & river collected fish are maintained, spawned & reared under identical conditions. Progeny from the domestic broodstock are used as controls in developmental, feeding and toxicological studies.
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Humboldt Bay Shellfish
Mr. Vaught recently conducted a site evaluation of a decommissioned pulp mill on the NOrth Coast of California to asses it fitness for aquaculture. Here he is touring local shellfish farms with the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and local farmers
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Spawning of Striped Bass: 3. Egg Maturation
Females are catheterized and an aliquot of eggs is removed several times over a 12-36 hours period (frequency depends on egg stage and speed of maturation) to determine the proper stage of development, such that spawning can be performed successfully.
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Oregon Sturgeon Project
  • Collected wild white sturgeon from the Columbia River for propagation and rearing of wild sturgeon fingerlings.
  • Constructed a sturgeon hatchery for the production of fingerling white sturgeon for the Bonneville Power mitigation project.
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Spawning of Striped Bass: 4. Artificial Fertilization
When the eggs are mature and ovulation occurs (indicated by both egg stage and eggs flowing freely from the female), females are euthanized using an overdose of MS-222. The female?s abdomen is dried with a clean towel and squeezed gently to expel free flowing eggs directly in a stainless steel bowl; subsequently the female?s abdomen is opened and ovaries are removed to collect remaining eggs. Males? (3-5 males/female) abdomens are dried to prevent sperm activation and squeezed gently to inject sperm directly into the bowl containing eggs. Water is gently added to initiate fertilization. Fertilization is completed within one minute after the addition of water.
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Spawning of Striped Bass: 5. Embryo Development and Hatching
Fertilized eggs are placed into upwelling hatching jars with constant freshwater flow for incubation. Unfertilized eggs develop a positive buoyancy and are expelled out of jar through upwelling flow. Fertilized eggs develop into embryos. Development is documented at 12 hr intervals post-fertilization & egg volume/jar is measured at 24 hr to determine total egg/larval production. Hatching occurs in approximately 48hrs. The larvae are expelled from the top of the hatching jars directly into 2700 L round flow-through tanks.
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Spawning of Striped Bass: 6. Larval Development and Rearing
A flow rate of ~10 L/minute is maintained in order to keep the larvae suspended within the tank throughout the developmental period. An air curtain is placed around the center standpipe of the tank preventing impingement of larvae on the drain screens and to break surface tension. Oil pads are placed on the waters surface to avoid the formation of an oil layer and to allow larvae to access air for swim bladder inflation. Hatchery lighting is adjusted to similar light levels larvae encounter in the estuary by using very dim ambient incandescent lighting. Larvae are fed newly hatched Artemia nauplii dispensed by a constant flow automatic feeder at day 5 post-hatch when exogenous feeding begins. Tanks are monitored and maintained at least twice daily. Larvae are sampled for developmental, histological, biochemical and molecular assays at 1-3, 5 & 7 days post-hatching.
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Spawning of Striped Bass: 7. Transfer into Ponds
After exogenous feeding begins (5 days post-hatching), larvae are transferred to ponds (in collaboration with commercial fish farms) where they can feed on natural zooplankton supplemented with commercial fish food.
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Spawning of Striped Bass: 8. Fingerling Rearing
After 6-8 weeks the ponds are seined and juvenile striped bass are transported back to the UCD-CABA Putah Creek fish facility. Juvenile striped bass are reared in 4? diameter tanks and fed a diet of commercial fish food (Silvercup salmon floating pellets).
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Arrowhead Fisheries
Constructed hatchery facilities. Refined techniques and production of striped bass, white sturgeon and other warm water fish. Selected and constructed two high desert geothermal sites in California. Conducted cooperative research of Sturgeon and Striped bass with the University of California Davis.Investigated and evaluated production sites in Nevada, Oregon and Utah. Developed marketing programs, performed cost analysis and formulated budgets.
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California Sturgeon Program
  • Collected wild white sturgeon from the upper Sacramento River for propagation and rearing research.
  • Conducted feed trial on larval striped bass.
  • Develop husbandry practices for production of striped bass for recreational lakes and for live fish markets.
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Channel Catfish Chile
Exported Channel catfish for the development of aquaculture in central Chile.
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Chico Game Fish Farm
  • Constructed and operated a 175 acre warm water fish production site in Chico California.
  • Developed hatchery for incubation of eggs and production of larval fish.
  • Designed, constructed and operated a tank culture production system.
  • Sold product and directed deliveries of 8 species of fish.
  • Successfully performed on bids for State and Federal contracts.
  • Marketing experience includes Federal and State agencies, Asian fish markets, private lakes, commercial fish farms and retail sales to the public.
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Cooperative Research Programs
  • Channel catfish induced spawning - Eric Halland U.C. Davis
  • Channel catfish genetics –  Dr.Graham Gall, U.C. Davis
  • Channel catfish disease identification and treatment – Dr. Ron Hedrick, U.C. Davis
  • White sturgeon spawning and Brood stock development – Dr. Surge Doroshov, U.C. Davis
  • Striped Bass larval growth confirmation- Dr. Joe Zinkle – David Ostrach  U.C. Davis
  • Cooperative Extension Workshops –  Dr. Fred Conte U.C. Davis
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Coos River Oregon Striped Bass Enhancement
  • Produced striped bass fingerlings for stock enhancement of the Coos river in Central Oregon for 10 consecutive years.
  • Marked and freeze branded fingerling for survival and recruitment research.
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Duckwater Fisheries
  • Reconstructed a large geothermal fish production site in eastern Nevada for the production of channel catfish.
  • Formulated production models for raceway production of channel catfish.
  • Developed markets for fresh fish in Las Vegas and surrounding areas.
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Export China
  • Developed markets for larval and fingerling striped bass, sturgeon, and Sacramento blackfish.
  • Produced and exported larva to sites in central China.
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High Desert Geothermal Project
  • Conducted site search and evaluation is Nevada and Utah for aquaculture potential
  • Set up pilot projects at several sites for data collection on fish growth.
  • Instructed local farmers in the basics of aquaculture and multiple use of water.
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Striped Bass Stocking Program
  • Developed techniques for the collection spawning and rearing of striped bass for California Department of Fish and Game stocking permits.
  • Successfully completed bids for over 1.5 million fish stocked in the Sacramento Delta
  • Produced the only domestic striped bass genetic strain in the western United States.
  • Developed markets for live striped bass in The San Francisco Bay area.
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