New Tilapia Program at Stafford Creek Corrections Center

by Lucienne Guyot, Executive Secretary Correctional Industries and Lyle Morse, Director Correctional Industries

Construction is well underway on the greenhouse which will house tilapia at Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen. The lean, fresh water fish will live in water heated by solar panels manufactured at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.  Offenders working in the new Correctional Industries program will rear the fish.  Besides feeding and general care for the tilapia, offenders will learn the craft of fish rearing including monitoring nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and regulating these substances along with water quality and temperature. They will perform equipment maintenance, monitor alarms and produce a protein source for use in offender meals. The facility is designed to have a capacity of 40,000 lbs of fish per year with the possibility for expansion.  The agency will develop a fish patty to serve as the primary dietary product.

The Department of Corrections is not new to offering offenders work in sustainability projects. This new Correctional Industries program is well-aligned with the on-going Sustainability in Prisons Project, a partnership between the Department, The Evergreen State College, state and federal agencies, and conservation organizations.

Tilapia Tanks and Greenhouse at Stafford Creek Corrections Center

 

5 Comments:

  1. Paul R. Stanley

    Hi, I work for Oregon Dept. of Corrections as a Project Manager and have been pursuing start up of an aquaponics operation inside the secured perimirters of a couple of our facilities and would like very much to to discuss all aspects of your project and including, design, funding, resource allocation and the structuring and implementation of inmate training programs. Please reply to my e-mail above.

    Thank you vey much,

    Paul.

    Reply to this comment ↓
    • Jacque Moses

      Sorry to burst your bubble bud , but it did produce fish as my brother was the first to catch a tilapia at Washington State Pen while helping to design the program . I have the picture that proves it and the article he write , but won’t let me attach it . Boils down to them cutting out the program due to the costs . Really a sad thing .

      Reply to this comment ↓
    • Jacque Moses

      Sorry to burst your bubble bud , but it did produce fish as my brother was the first to catch a tilapia at Washington State Pen while helping to design the program . I have the picture that proves it and the article he wrote , but won’t let me attach it . Boils down to them cutting out the program due to the costs even though many of the materials were donated or refurbished . This is a Really a sad thing not only for the inmates loosing jobs and motivation , a sense of worth . But also to the environment as it could have produce fertilizers, fresh fish , and vegetables without all of the GMOS that we are all so poisoned by due to mass produced food . Sad very sad.

      Reply to this comment ↓
  2. trivettj

    Hi Jacque, I believe that aquaponics is alive and well at Washington State Pen — the system keeps evolving, to build on earlier success (such as your own), and make it even more productive.
    The comment here, I think, is about the aquaponics system at Stafford Creek. When that system was devoted to growing tilapia, it did not make sense: the fish didn’t do well. That program was abandoned. But, then repurposed to serve a new use: an aquaponic system growing native wetland plants for wetland restoration. Incarcerated technicians play a key role in the program, and receive education and job skills training. I think it’s the best!! We share your interest in inmates having jobs, motivation and a sense of worth and hope for those things to be more and more true.

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