Freshwater Fish Company – About Us
Freshwater Fish Company farms are located in the Central Valley of California. Our facilities are closed to the public. Our fish-rearing facilities utilize state-of-the-art systems to grow fish from the egg stage to adult size. Our facilities house small fry in our hatchery barn to full-size fish in our earthen ponds.
Freshwater Fish Company is a small business operation. We have seven employees who’s jobs include farm management, rearing, feeding, harvesting and transporting fish to markets as well as pond and lake stocking jobs.
Freshwater Fish Company utilizes goats to remove invasive weeds from our farms, eliminating the need to use chemicals. Over 200 goats spend their life keeping weeds from taking over and making harvesting of fish somewhat easier for our fish farm techs!
Freshwater Fish Company is a member of the California Aquaculture Association. The California Aquaculture Association promotes commercial production of plants and animals in aquatic systems to satisfy the needs of consumers for wholesome products that are produced by sustainable means conserving California’s land and water resources.More information can be found at: http://www.caaquaculture.org/
Freshwater Fish Staff
Fish Farm Technicians
The role of technicians at Freshwater Fish Company is interesting and varied. Working outdoors as part of a small team, they focus upon all aspects of successful freshwater fish production including feeding, grading, harvesting, handling, and transporting, as well as other general farm maintenance tasks.
Gregg Leonard, Owner/Director
From 1982 to 1997 Gregg commercially fished in ten different freshwater fisheries. During that time he participated in the white sturgeon broodstock breeding program conducted by the Cooperative Extension Program at UC Davis while working for Stolt Sea Farm. In 1997 Gregg started building his Bruceville fish farm while continuing his commercial fish business. In 2001 the farm was in full production and Gregg went to fish farming full-time. In 2005 Gregg purchased the second farm site and has been running the two locations since. Gregg is an outdoor enthusiast and in his spare time fishes in local and regional bass tournaments.
Matt came to Freshwater Fish Company in 2009. Out of high school Matt enlisted in the Marine Corp. Reserve and worked as a carpenter for seven years before going back to school. He first got involved in aquaculture in 2005 working with abalone, rockfish and oysters while attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After completing a B.S. In Agricultural Systems Management in 2006 he moved to Colorado to work raising rainbow trout, and then back to southern California to manage a large commercial catfish operation. In his spare time Matt enjoys spending time with his family, running and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Kathy Hillesland, Farm Operations Manager
Kathy came to Freshwater Fish Company in 2013. She has a degree in Business/Marketing from Chico State, and graduated in a Natural Resources Management Degree Program while working for the U.S. Forest Service. Kathy held the position of Senior Fish and Wildlife Biologist for 12 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before coming to us. The last 6 years her job was overseeing programs to assist private landowners in restoring and enhancing their habitat (ponds and uplands) using wildlife friendly practices. Kathy enjoys photography and all things outdoors.