A little background on our farm...
At our farm, growth happens naturally, never with the use of harmful antibiotics or hormones.
We feed our shrimp the perfect formula, oxygenate our lakes to keep them in top condition, and let the natural beauty of Alabama seasons and sunshine do the rest! We have a unique process to raise our shrimp to be the biggest and healthiest on market, and that’s why we’ve been the highest quality shrimp production facility for over 20 years.
The story of our farm began in 1993 when Bryan Whitfield Compton, now retired Navy Rear Admiral, found just the right piece of land for an aquaculture business in West Alabama. He called his daughter Ann, then a hydrogeologist in California, and asked her to come to Alabama to check out the sticky Black Prairie clay soil he’d discovered there.
So Ann and the respected soil conservationist, Elvin Wright, surveyed the soil and laid out the lakes to drain with the natural topography. Both experts in geology and water purification, they agreed that this place is perfect for aquaculture.
Tad Murphy, now the manager of all operations, worked hard building ponds and raising lots of channel catfish. Groundwater at the farm is naturally salty, so the lake water is similar to brackish estuaries. The naturally elevated chlorides, calcium, and magnesium of salty water provides greater disease resistance for what grows in our lakes and allowed us to begin raising special saltwater species of white shrimp. By 1999, the Pacific White Shrimp were put into three large lakes and we had our first harvest of Alabama farm-raised shrimp, along with our catfish.
Our farm has been owned and operated by family members in a limited liability cooperation since 1993 when the tract of land was purchased. The farm site sits on approximately 500 acres, along the east side of County Road 48. The farm is about 3 miles southwest of the town of Forkland, south of the intersection of Greene County Roads 20 and 48.
Forkland Springs consists of 470 acres of water arranged in a grid-like pattern of 35 lakes, ranging in size from 4 to 20 acres. The average catfish pond is 12 acres in area and is 6 to 8 feet deep. Groundwater is pumped from five artesian wells that are set at depths of approximately 650 feet below ground surface.
Extracted groundwater has a relatively constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Wells average yield per well is 360,000 gallons per day. Groundwater pumped from the wells has elevated salinity at 5 parts per thousand, and also includes increased levels calcium and magnesium, similar to brackish water conditions in a bay or estuary.
Shrimp begin at our hatchery in April as post-larvae (PLs), and grow out to jumbo size within 6-8 months, typically harvesting in early October. On average, our farm produces over 200,000 pounds of shrimp per harvest.