Wednesday, September 13, 2017

USA, Oregon: Geothermal Powered Aquaculture Farm Near Klamath Falls

Hot water holds many opportunities for S. Oregon farms (Capital Press)

No matter the season, the fish are always jumping.

That’s because Ron Barnes and Tracey Liskey are tossing handfuls of fish food into one of their several fish ponds where they’re raising 2-pound tilapia that are live-trucked to fish markets in Seattle and San Francisco. Some remains local, often sold to Klamath Basin residents who especially enjoy the tasty, white fish.

For the past six-plus years Barnes, with Liskey’s help, has been experimenting with the best of speedily raising tilapias from tiny hatchlings until they’re large enough to be fresh-shipped to commercial markets. Before the year is out, Barnes said he expects his business, Gone Fishing, will ship about 50,000 pounds.

“Without geothermal you couldn’t afford to have greenhouses or fish ponds,” Liskey said, noting the Klamath Basin typically sees below freezing temperatures and snow during the winter. As he explained while standing alongside the tilapia ponds, “It’s the cheap heat from the water that makes all this possible.”