Ontario Aquaculture Association Conference 2023

March 21 – 22, 2023    |    Fern Resort, Orillia

Join us for the first Ontario aquaculture gathering in three years.

Come for presentations on the latest and greatest in the industry, and plenty of social time and seafood feasting
. We have expanded to programming over one and a half days, plus concurrent sessions. 

Presented by:

Conference Schedule

Tuesday, March 21

  • (Optional) 12:00pm — Tour of Manitoulin Trout Farms, 20 minutes from venue
  • 2:00 – 4:30pm — Conference Launch with Panels & Presentations
  • 4:30 – 6:00pm — Annual General Meeting (Members Only)
  • 6:30pm onwards — Tailgater Social Party

Wednesday, March 22

  • 9:00 – 4:00pm — Panels & Presentations
  • 5:00 – 6:00pm — Reception 
  • 6:30pm onwards — Gala Dinner
    • Join in the first-ever Fish-Wear Fest. Wear your most fin-tastic fish clothing to the gala dinner for a chance to win prizes — we’re talking fish shirts, fish dresses, fish accessories, maybe even fish costumes! 
    • Entertainment provided by the rockabilly and jive band Nicholas Campbell & the Two Metre Cheaters!

Conference Venue

Fern Resort
4432 Fern Resort Rd, Ramara, Ontario
One hour from Toronto’s Pearson Airport!

Fern Resort is more like being in Dirty Dancing than staying at a typical hotel. There is a minimum two-night stay. All meals, parking, Wi-Fi and resort access are included. 

Reserve Your Spot Today

To participate, you will need to register in two places by February 24.

You may notice prices are higher than you anticipated. Since the last conference we had scheduled three years ago, costs have increased between 30 – 40% at ALL conference venues in Ontario because of pandemic and inflation pressures. Fern Resort has worked with us to stay competitive, and been very gracious rescheduling over and over. 

1. With the Association

Visit the conference registration page to sign up under the following categories:

  • Full Conference Ticket – $299
    • Includes registration fee, all meals and networking events
  • Discounted Conference Ticket – $239
    • For speakers and OAA members in the “Individual” membership category
  • OAA Member Conference Tickets – $0
    • All corporate OAA members receive TWO free registrations. Please sign up all additional registrants at the discounted rate.

2. With Fern Resort

To reserve your room, visitt the Fern Resort Group Booking page and enter code AQUA2023.

Cost is $398 per person for two nights, whether you’re staying one or two to a room. Add your preference for single or double rooms in the comment section during reservation.

Sneak Peek on Panels & Presentations

Here’s a look at some of our confirmed sessions so far:

Theme 1: Advancing Farm Production

  • How upwellers have been helping Ontario net-pen farmers adapt to climate change, Terry Drost, Four Links Marketing
  • Smoltification strategies: understanding a unique feature of salmonid biology and how to manage the process in aquaculture, Jesse Trushenski, Chief Science Officer, Riverence
  • How PROBAQUA is transforming aquaculture through sensors and software, Filipe Thomaz, PROBAQUA
  • Lessons from Ace Aquatech’s humane harvester in Ontario, Sam Bowman, Regional Manager, Americas, Ace Aquatec
  • Update on the latest and greatest Skretting feeds available in Canada, Sarah Cook, Sales Manager, Skretting North America East
  • What’s new with feed and feed additives from Bluewater Feeds and MTS Environmental, Scott Thompson, Bluewater Feeds & MTS Environmental
  • Education Panel: Continuing education for Ontario fish farmers,
    • Jon Carter, Professor, Aquaculture Program, Fleming College
    • Wendy Vandersteen, Manager of Research and Development, Taplow Feeds
    • Marcia Chiasson, Manager, Ontario Aquaculture Research Centre
  • Come for a swim with Deep Trekker (demonstration located on the lake shore), Andrew Lawrence, Account Executive, Deep Trekker

Theme 2: Advancing Fish Health

  • What we know about lactococcus, Dr. Veronique (Nikki) LePage, Veterinarian, LePage Aquatic Veterinary Services
  • Top 10 things to know from Canada’s new farmed salmonid welfare code, Professor Rich Moccia, Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph & Arlen Taylor, Owner, Cedar Crest Trout Farms & Springhills Fish
  • Research spotlights from the University of Guelph:
    • Optimizing lipid and protein nutritional requirements for lake whitefish, Dr. David Huyben, Assistant Professor of Aquaculture, University of Guelph and Rebecca Lawson, MSc Student, University of Guelph
    • Insects as a functional feed additive for rainbow trout, Carmi Riesenbach, MSc Student, University of Guelph
  • Updates from Ontario Animal Health Network, Dr. Alexandra Reid, Lead Veterinarian Animal Health and Welfare, Veterinary Science Unit, Animal Health and Welfare Branch, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Theme 3: Farm Spotlights

  • Automatic feeding systems at Wild West Steelhead net-pen farm, Dean Foss, General Manager, Wild West Steelhead
  • Learning how to grow coho salmon, Sean Nepper, Chief Brood Officer, VP Fish Health, Riverence
  • A look at Georgian Bay Salmon, Gerry Sullivan, President, Georgian Bay Salmon

Theme 4: Advancing Sustainability

  • What’s up with microplastics? Steven Backman, Product Manager, RAS and Health Feeds (Veterinarian), Skretting North America East
  • From the Experimental Lakes Area to Manitoulin Island: How rainbow trout farm outputs can influence local wild fish, Neil Rooney, Associate Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph
  • Crickets, mealworms and soldier fly, oh my! The impacts of insect meal on growth performance and water quality with rainbow trout, Sonja Drosdowech, University of Guelph 
  • Update on new standards from Best Aquaculture Practices, Ken Corpron, Program Integrity Analyst, Best Aquaculture Practices

Theme 5: Advancing Opportunities for Ontario Fish Farmers

  • The opportunity for lake whitefish aquaculture Ontario: What we know, what we don’t, and where we go from here, Kevin Loftus, Fisheries and Aquaculture Consultant
  • Update on Giigoonh Chi-Naaknigewin: the Great Aquaculture Law, Dawn Madahbee Leach, General Manager, Waubetek Business Development Corporation
  • Tips on communicating with the public about aquaculture, Emily De Sousa, Seaside with Emily
  • Updates from Fisheries and Oceans Canada – new FACTAP, Blue Economy, AAR, Lorna Hendrickson, Regional Manager (Central & Arctic), Aquaculture, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • National advocacy for aquaculture: Updates from Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, Tim Kennedy, President & CEO, Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance
  • Results of Ontario aquaculture research, development & commercialization workshops, Dan Stechey, Canadian Aquaculture Systems


Presenting Sponsor:

Dinner Sponsor:

John Woodhouse Memorial Reception Sponsor:

Wine Dinner Sponsor:

Lunch Sponsor:

Break Sponsors:

Sponsorship spots still available!

If you are interested in getting extra exposure with the Ontario aquaculture community, please contact RJ Taylor, OAA’s managing director at hello@ontarioseafoodfarmers.ca