This four-day course on water recirculating aquaculture systems started in 1995 at Cornell University in cooperation with Freshwater Institute staff. The course was held at Cornell University until 1999, after which it was held at the Freshwater Institute as a combined Cornell University/Freshwater Institute course. Course participants were initially university extension associates, however current participants include representatives from commercial fish farms, government fish hatcheries, tribal fish hatcheries, government regulators, universities, research organizations, legislative offices, and fish and wildlife organizations. The combined course continued through 2006, after which the course was taught independently by both institutions until Cornell University stopped offering a classroom course. Current course content covers the fundamentals of water recirculating systems for fish culture including mass balances to maintain water quality, unit process design, and system operation. Course topics include the following:


  • RAS Overview
  • RAS Water Quality
  • Mass Balances
  • Pumping and Piping
  • Circular Tank Design
  • Solids Control & Management
  • Oxygenation
  • Carbon Dioxide control
  • Biofiltration
  • Ozone & UV Processes
  • Fish Health & Biosecurity
  • Monitoring RAS Water Quality
  • RAS Management & Operations
  • RAS Design Examples


Course materials provided to participants include a binder of all presentations and a copy of the book Recirculating Aquaculture. The course includes a tour of a RAS facility for hands-on explanation of the engineering and operation. Custom variations of the four-day course (e.g., two-day versions) are available upon request. Custom courses have been provided for a variety of organizations including Marine Harvest Canada, Marine Harvest Norway, Cooke Aquaculture, USFWS, Bonneville Power Administration, California Fish & Wildlife, and Alltech Brazil.



The 2023 RAS Course is scheduled for the week of September 19–22 in Shepherdstown, WV at the National Conservation Training Center. The course includes a tour of the RAS facilities at the Freshwater Institute.



Brian Vinci, Chris Good, John Davidson, Travis May – Freshwater Institute
Ed Aneshansley – HTL Sustainable Foods



Course registration includes course materials, transport to/from the tour of the Freshwater Institute, all-day coffee and drinks; lodging and meals are not included in registration. Registration is now closed.



National Conservation Training Center
698 Conservation Way
Shepherdstown, WV 25414


NCTC’s lodging and meals are a package cost based on current GSA guidelines. CLICK HERE for rates. Reservations to begin Spring/Summer 2023.


If you have questions about the RAS course please contact Kata Sharrer (