Our hatchery facility is located in Pequaming, Michigan, and consists of two rearing buildings using groundwater for operational supply. Our walleye rearing facility consists of two 1/2 acre rearing ponds approximately 1 mile east of L'Anse Village on Brewery Road, using impounded surface water for operational supply.
The hatchery facility is currently in the process of an equipment upgrade. One of the major goals is to reduce groundwater use to help protect the groundwater resource in the Pequaming area. Similar systems in other hatcheries have been able to reduce water use by 25-50% and we hope to achieve similar results. For approximately 20 years, the lake trout and brook trout rearing operations have been using 100-700 gallons of fresh groundwater pumped from the aquifer beneath the Pequaming area. Reducing water use by 25% could reduce the amount of groundwater pumped by over 10 million gallons per year. Another objective is to improve operations but maintain our current fish production capacity.
Recent activities include installation of a common water head tank, groundwater pump motor controls, new and additional fish rearing tanks, monitoring systems, a new alarm system, added oxygen injection equipment, and reconfigured the water distribution system. Reductions in energy and water use are advantages of using the variable frequency drive with our pumping. The recirculation aquaculture system has been recycling slightly less than 50% of all water used in the main building since August 2012. Two years ago, 584 gallons per minute were needed for our facilities versus the 300 gallons per minute (only 100 in the main building) used now. There has been a noticeable reduction in energy consumption with well pumping which we hope to report more on in the future.