For over 50 years, Culver's Fish Farm has raised and delivered quality fish and provided proper pond management to individuals and companies.
Brent Culver, owner of Culver's Fish Farm, said they started off by selling to bait shops for reservoirs and then purchased their own property in the McPherson Valley Wetlands 17 years ago. Later on, he said when a larger demand was needed for sports fish, their business grew even larger by supplying individual ponds and recreational sites.
"As we got more into it there was not only individuals, but state agencies that wanted more fish," he said.
Culver's Fish Farm has been so successful in their fish sales, they are selling to five surrounding states, including Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
The fish farm partners with not only individuals, but agencies, clubs, and groups, including the city of McPherson.
At one point, they were selling oriental fish to Chicago and New York due the demand for fresh, live fish in larger cities.
"A lot of places in New York and Chicago didn't have refrigerators so they would buy live fish and they would only buy what they were going to eat that night," Culver said.
The business offers pond management, pond equipment and grass carp traps.
Pond management includes services like finding the right balance of fish in an established pond, fish breeding and making sure there is enough oxygen available in the pond.
Culver's Fish Farm also offers equipment such as feeders, aerators, traps and liquid fertilizers.
There are a wide array of warm water fish sold at Culver's Fish Farm, like channel catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, fathead minnows, bluebill and hybrid bluebill and grass carp.
Culver compares his farming operation to a cow calf operation: they raise their fish from birth to a certain size and then sell them.
"We are a hatchery and depending on the species of fish, we hatch them in tanks or we can hatch them in a pond where they can naturally spawn. They are then able to grow in larger volumes, up to two to four inches, and then we spread them out to their next destination," Culver explained. Culver's Fish Farm transports their own fish as well by using live haul trucks with liquid oxygen in them.
"We are able to haul a large volume of fish into a 500 gallon tank and can put as many as 1,500 pounds when hauling them," he said.
Feeding the fish
Culver said he feeds his fish a high protein diet, which consists of a soybean-based feed and additional vitamins and mineral packages.
"We've done a lot of feed trials with feed companies and co-ops, most of it is soybean based, and we put all different additives and grains in there," he explained. "We can feed about one pound of feed to get one pound of gain on catfish."
Culver's was based in McPherson up until an aggressive species of fish took out the farm's populations.
Since then, the business has partnered with Pete's Puddle, a water recreation site in Burrton.
Since joining with Pete's Puddle, Culver said their company built around 40 ponds to increase their business.
Culver's Fish Farm and Pete's Puddle work together by providing fish for the ponds and helping with pond maintenance.
There are different types ponds at Pete's Puddle ranging from culture ponds and recreational ponds for fishing.
"We utilize it like you would a feed lot and we grow the fish and get them up to a certain size and spread them out or sell them," Culver said.
Culver's Fish Farm raises bigger trophy size fish like bass, crappie channel cat, bigger bluegill for members of Pete's Puddle to fish.
Pete's Puddle is partnered with Culver's Fish Farm because of the large number of people they have for recreational fishing.
Pete's was developed for a recreational facilities in the late 60s where residents could purchase a lot and live there as their second home in the summer.
For more information, visit Culver's Fish Farm at their website at http://www.culversfishfarmks.com/ or call their store at 620-241-5200 or visit Pete's Puddle's website at http://www.petespuddlellc.net/
Contact Brooke Haas by email at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.