Dear Habitat Manager,
BioHaven® floating islands are a fast developing technology. Today we have over 4,400 islands in the water, from New Zealand to China and across the United States. Our largest island, at 51,000 square feet, is ready for launch on Lake Rotorua. Seven other island projects exceeding 20,000 square feet have launched in New Zealand, Singapore and – through the U.S. Army Corps – here in the U.S.
Our company is science based. We have spent in excess of three million dollars in research to date, mostly completed through Montana State University’s Center for Biofilm Engineering and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research based in Hamilton, New Zealand. In combination with these pre-eminent research centers we have built up a unique database around the relationship between floating islands and fisheries enhancement. We are extremely excited about the prospects. We believe that fishing will be accepted as the primary means by which excess non-point source nutrients will be transitioned out of water. For perspective, estimates to do this the conventional way run to over 150 billion dollars in expenses, across the U.S., over the next decade.
I recognize that fish harvest as a means by which to solve a problem of this scale is a grandiose vision. How can fish, at approximately one percent live-weight phosphorus, be a realistic means by which to harvest the tonnes of phosphorus and nitrogen that result in more than half of U.S. lakes experiencing eutrophic conditions? The answer is both short and compelling. By biomimicking nature, floating islands provide the “concentrated wetland effect” that transitions nutrients up the food chain. Instead of nutrients short-circuiting into monocultures of algae, floating islands provide the substrate, the enhanced surface area that transitions nutrients from biofilm to periphyton into fish.
Please review these short examples:
1. Chippewa Falls Flowage in northern Wisconsin, home of the world record muskellunge, is also home to dozens of naturally-occurring floating islands. BioHaven Floating Islands are modeled after these embodiments of island. To this day the flowage is a Class A fishery, producing huge volumes of a wide variety of fish, including musky, walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, sunfish and more. During an informal fisherman survey three years ago, nine boats of fishermen were interviewed. Seven of the nine were fishing the perimeter of natural floating islands. The other two were trolling or drifting for walleye. That day I personally landed thirty-four largemouth bass, almost all of which were caught on plastic baits cast to the edge of the peat based floating islands. Chippewa Falls flowage is a world class fishery that exemplifies the long-term potential of floating islands to enhance a fishery. Fisherman will gravitate to floating islands because that is where fish happen.
2. Fish Fry Lake is located outside of Billings, Montana. The lake is fed by agricultural run-off. Prior to introducing floating islands, the water was anoxic and generated unique, colorful and probably toxic forms of cyano-bacteria. The lake was incapable of supporting a sport fishery. Today, four years later, he lake supports wild northern yellow perch that grow as fast as perch in aquaculture systems. The lake also supports black crappie and Yellowstone Cutthroat trout. This lake is located at our research center, and with the help of BioHaven floating islands, we are able to maintain the demanding water quality conditions Cutthroat require. Temperatures are kept below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and dissolved oxygen is maintained above 6.5 mil/liter. From June 26 through Oct. 17th of last year, 1,928 fish were harvested from this 6.5-acre lake. The average catch rate was one fish every two minutes. Please note that, just like Chippewa Flowage, these fish are wild. They are not fed. Instead, the farm-based nutrients that will otherwise kill this water are being transitioned into fish.
3. There is a significant body of research around brush parks for enhanced fish production. This is an age-old strategy employed in parts of Asia and Africa whereby fish are quasi-cultured in brushy enclosures. These brush parks are remarkable in several respects. A mid-range system can generate around 14,000 pounds of fish per acre. The parks transition nutrients into fish at a ferocious rate. BioHaven Floating islands represent a similar ability. As we develop the means by which to transition vast volumes of non-point source nutrients into fish, the potential expansion of our fishery here in the U.S. is almost unimaginable.
Let me recap my message:
- What we are proposing is modeled after nature.
- It is far less expensive than conventional approaches to fishery and water quality enhancement.
- As you grow fish in abundance, water quality will improve.
We want to help you grow fish. We want your fish to be healthy, numerous, and good to eat. We want your waterway to be among the most productive in the world, and along the way, we want your water to be extremely clean. Let us show you how to achieve this. We very much look forward to working with you.