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Tilapia in Northern california
http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=24582
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Author:  machineman [ Mar 24th, '15, 12:41 ]
Post subject:  Tilapia in Northern california

I know this subject has been beat to death. I bring this up because I am starting a new system after 2 years of no aquaponics. I have always wanted Tilapia but thought they were all illegal. Then I found an add on craigslist Fresno for tilapia. I started looking around and found nothing recent on the subject. I did some research on my own and found this.
A guy I know in Fresno ordered Tialipia off craigslist. He got his fish but managed to kill them. Next the California Department of Fish and Game regulations for restricted species do not list Mozambique Tilipia as illegal. Other types but not Mozambique ( https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx ... ntID=28427 ) page 10 about half way down list of illegal species.

(O) Family Cichlidae -Cichlids:
1. Tilapia sparrmani (Banded Tilapia) (D).
2. Tilapia zillii (Redbelly tilapia) (D), except permits may be issued to a person or agency for importation,
transportation, or possession in the counties of San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San
Diego, and Imperial.
3. Oreochromis aureus (Blue tilapia) (D).
4. Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia) (D).

Then I looked at the Aquaculture regulations. ( https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... 4060,d.cGU )

These regulations list Tilapia as illegal in most of California. However on page one the Hobby aquaponics is not covered and there for fall outside of the scope of the regulations.

Could some of you take a look at my data and tell me what you think. It looks hopeful to me.

Author:  Max47 [ Mar 25th, '15, 00:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

I would love to get tilapia for my system. I may need to contact fish and game and see what they say.

Author:  machineman [ Mar 25th, '15, 14:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

I just watched a video about a aquaponics farm in the Santa cruz area. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YJolxisoSg They are raising Mozambique Tilapia.

Author:  smatthew [ Mar 25th, '15, 20:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

Why are people so enthralled with Tilapia? In northern california, you need to heat the water a significant portion of the year in order to keep the Tilapia happy and growing.

Also - if you read the regulations, Aquaponics technically does require registration currently, unless you're using koi or goldfish. But if you will eat the fish, then Aquaculture registration is required.

Author:  machineman [ Mar 25th, '15, 23:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

I live in Fresno, no problem keeping my water warm. In the aquaculture leaflet page one is this.

"Who Must Register
1. Anyone who for commercial purposes rears or maintains live aquatic plants or animals in
brackish, marine or fresh water.
2. Anyone who for commercial purposes rears or maintains live aquatic plants or animals for
food, bait, or for stocking in waters of the State."

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=3256

It seem pretty specifically to apply to "commercial" operations. Unless you have other data.

Author:  jandjaqua [ Mar 26th, '15, 00:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

The best way to avoid later issues is tell fish and wildlife exactly what you propose. They will want to know your proximity to waterways and how secure your tanks are. Tell them the species and source of stock. This is sort of new ground for many of the staff biologists, so the last thing you want to do is alienate them and give them reason to just nix all tilapia to cover their bases.

You would be doing the whole community a favor by representing California aquaponics well and educating everyone at the same time. This is the way we can eventually have reasonable tilapia regulations in Norcal.

Author:  AquaNate [ Mar 26th, '15, 02:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

The gentleman running Freshwater Fish Co near Sacramento recommended their Hybrid Carp as an alternative to tilapia for our area. They seem to tolerate a wide temperature range and are quite edible.

https://freshwaterfishco.com/fish-we-raise/

For what it's worth.

Author:  Max47 [ Mar 26th, '15, 03:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

Hybrid carp? I will have to pick up few of those when I go there next month.

Author:  CJ-California [ Mar 26th, '15, 06:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

I recommend finding the local lake/pond and see what bites. Then stock your AP with farmed versions of that fish. Mine is Bluegill.

How many fish are you planning and running? If its just a couple IBCs then I doubt anyone will even know.

Also, the Salton Sea has Blue Tilapia in it and I find it hilarious that DFG regulates my backyard :? .

Author:  machineman [ Mar 26th, '15, 14:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

I once went to a fish farm in Snelling. He was raising a lot of different fish. Including Hybrid carp, or F1 hybrid. He spoke very highly of them for growth rate, eating quality and hardiness. I am looking at getting some myself if I cant get Tilapia. He also liked sturgeon, said they grew fast also.
As far as why Tilapia are awesome, these are my reasons. They are among the fastest growing fish available, they are tough, eat plants and most importantly self replicate. Small scale aquaponics cant be self sufficient with out that last one.

Author:  smatthew [ Mar 26th, '15, 21:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

machineman wrote:
I live in Fresno, no problem keeping my water warm. In the aquaculture leaflet page one is this.

"Who Must Register
1. Anyone who for commercial purposes rears or maintains live aquatic plants or animals in
brackish, marine or fresh water.
2. Anyone who for commercial purposes rears or maintains live aquatic plants or animals for
food, bait, or for stocking in waters of the State."

https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=3256

It seem pretty specifically to apply to "commercial" operations. Unless you have other data.


Look at who doesn't have to register:

1) The rearing or maintenance of koi or goldfish in closed systems for personal, pet, or hobby purposes.
2) The sale or cultivation of brine shrimp.
3) The sale or cultivation of tropical species or ornamental aquatic plants or animals, not utilized for human consumption or bait purposes, but maintained in closed systems and utilized by the pet industry or hobbyists.

The 3rd exemption doesn't fit, since the fish are raised for consumption.

You may think Tilapia are awesome, but as long as they're prohibited north of the Tehachapi I won't touch them. If they catch you the fine is like $10,000. Not sure if that's per tank or per fish, but I don't have an extra 10K lying around....

Author:  machineman [ Mar 27th, '15, 12:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

I agree with you about the fines. I think its per fish. The regs are ambiguous as written. They dont cover aquaponics in the "who must register" or the "who doesnt have to register". I dont think they were thinking about home grown fish when it was written. I am currently planning on not getting Tilapia. But will be looking into it very closely for the future.

Author:  smatthew [ Mar 27th, '15, 13:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

And i believe they are talking about changing the rules for aquaponics and possibly allowing Tilapia. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and for me Tilapia aren't economically viable due to the need for heated water. Heck, even my bluegill wouldn't mind a heater ;-}

Author:  machineman [ Mar 31st, '15, 12:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

I spoke directly with the dfg person who covers this sort of issue. She said not legal. She also said that aquaponics is not yet covered in any Ca regulations.

Author:  superdave50 [ Jun 10th, '15, 09:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: Tilapia in Northern california

I am also interested in raising tilapia mainly because of the growth rate and ease of breeding.
When you spoke to DFG, did she offer any specific regulations? Or just a "because we say so"? If I'm not SELLING fish for consumption then wouldn't that fit the exemption? I've never had a warden ask about the livestock I raise and eat. I'm probably missing something but, It seems strange to outlaw a fish for fear that it might be released into the wild when they can't survive in the wild here. Please pardon my frustrations...

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