Aquaculture, the husbandry of aquatic plants and animals, is a natural-resource based segment of Idaho's agricultural economy. The Thousand Springs Reach of the Mid-Snake River supplies high-quality spring water that is well oxygenated and at the optimum temperature for rainbow trout. The presence of these springs has allowed the industry to develop into one of the largest aquaculture sectors in the nation. Overall, Idaho is ranked within the top ten states for aquaculture production and value.
- Idaho is the number 1 producer of trout in the United States.
- Idaho accounts for about 75% of all domestic trout production in the nation.
- An estimated 95% of all trout consumed in the U.S. is farm-raised.
- Idaho trout production averages around 41 million pounds annually.
- Other species produced include over a million pounds of tilapia, a warm water fish similar to a perch that's native to Africa; blue and channel catfish at about 400,000 pounds per year; sturgeon meat and caviar; some ornamental production, and even alligators!
- Aquaculture products satisfy an estimated 50% of our seafood needs.
Gary Fornshell has worked for University of Idaho Extension in Twin Falls, Jerome and Gooding counties as an area aquaculture extension educator since 1992. He works with the Idaho aquaculture industry in the three-county area to address issues and production concerns facing the industry. Read more...
View links and download aquaculture publications and EPA permit documents.
Idaho Trout Production Statistics