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From mink ranch to thriving trout farm – the long and unusual story of Silver Moon Springs

ELTON, WI –  Nestled on Elton Creek, a natural trout stream in North Central Wisconsin about 60 miles northwest of my home, lies a fish farm with with quite a backstory to tell.

The farm is Silver Moon Springs Trout Farm and its earliest beginnings were as part of an extensive mink farming operation.

That farm, which dated back to 1922, was the oldest operating mink farm in the US when the then-owners decided to add a fish farm component in the 1950s.

Their purpose:  To raise fish to feed the mink.

SH-RobinsonAs it turns out, it didn’t take long for the farm owners to figure out there was more money to be made raising fish for market versus using them as mink feed.

Fast forward to 1978, when Bob Winkle purchased the operation.  Shortly thereafter, his son Tim got out of the Army and joined his father in the family business and thus began the so-called modern era of Silver Moon Springs.

BR1-DSCN5815_3068eva-visaBob, if you didn’t know him, was a true industry pioneer – not just on his own farm – but for the fish farming community at large throughout the state.

I can easily recall when I first met Bob.

It was at an aquaculture show and conference in New Orleans sometime in the late 1980s…

…read the rest and much, much more in Issue 6, 2014 of Fish Farming News.
Download access instructions so that you can read the online flipbook AND download a pdf copy for future reference.

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