GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Farmory in Green Bay is on a mission to replenish the perch supply in Northeast Wisconsin and a new yellow perch hatchery unveiled Monday is set to help improve the population.

According to the Wisconsin DNR, the number of yellow perch has been on the decline in the Great Lakes since 1988.

The new state of the art hatchery, which is also designed to be environmentally friendly, is a step to reviving the yellow perch.

“These are fully recirculating systems, so we’re not having to waste a lot of water. These systems are contained, and the fish stay healthy, and it’s a bio-secure environment,” says Claire Thompson, Executive Director at the Farmory.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Farmory leaders discussed how important this operation is to our state’s culture.

“We want to bring fish back to the community and get the community involved in the aquaculture process and hopefully sprout some new yellow perch aquaculture endeavors through our volunteer program here,” Hatchery Technician Annie Schmitz told Local 5.

Local restaurants have relied on Canadian perch to meet the demand of fish fries. But the Farmory’s project could, one day, end Wisconsin’s reliance on the product from Canada.

The Farmory says they’re hoping for between 300,000 and 400,000 perch and that they’ll produce well over 1 million fish per year once they’re fully operational.