Ohio Fish Farm Eyes Former Groveton Paper Mill

Apr 16, 2016

The Upper Ammonoosuc River flows past the former mill. Photo courtesy of Roger Caron.

A Midwestern company specializing in fish farming is hoping to franchise its business on the site of a former paper mill in Groveton.

Earlier this year Groveton voters approved borrowing $400,000 to provide water and sewage to the mill site mill.

The water and sewer improvements at Groveton are contingent on getting about $600,000 in federal funds.

But if that comes through the site would be a good spot for an indoor fish farm, says Traci Bell, the owner of Ripple Rock Fish Farms, which raises tilapia in Ohio.

Bell says there is a good source of clean water – the Upper Ammonoosuc River, which is adjacent to the former mill.

And, it is in a good spot geographically.

“New Hampshire would be an ideal location. There are actually several large seafood markets in proximity, one of which is Toronto,” she says.

The paper mill was the economic heart of Groveton for years but was killed off by foreign competition. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR.

Bell says a facility could start with around eight to 10 workers.

Ripple Rock is looking for someone to buy a franchise for a New England regional center in Groveton.

Ideally that center would then license fish farms to others in the area and show them how a fish farm works, Bell says, because a co-op style arrangement would provide advantages when it comes to purchasing supplies and selling.

A furniture factory currently housed in Berlin has also promised to move to Groveton if the mill gets the needed improvements.