HOW IT STARTED
My name is Daniel Bates, and I have constructed and patented a practice that is self-sustaining, water conserving, zero-emission, eco system. This is how I can grow the finest quality fish and deliver it directly to consumers. Based on my patented system, my fish are organically grown indoors using an eco-friendly practice.
Steelhead Springs LLC is the solution that I (Daniel Bates), developed after my mother (Gordie Bates) was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer. According to ACS (American Cancer Society) my mom developed her cancer by continuously ingesting Methylmercury (CH3Hg+). She was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in mid-1990's. At the time Embrel was just in clinical trials and her insurance was not offering support for clinical trial treatments. We resorted to eating healthier foods, she eliminated red meats and only consumed vegetables and fish. Fish was particularly important to her diet because of the high Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. The Omega acids help with inflammation and over time it reduced her mobility pain. Her daily diet contained three meals, and two of those meals contained fish bought from local markets. After she was diagnosed with Meningioma, an emergency surgery was performed to save her life. A biopsy of the tumor was conducted and unfortunately later the tumor was found to be cancerous. After exploring numerous research labs, the tumor and cancer spores were identified and directly connected to Mercury poisoning. I was so baffled by this diagnosis, so I conducted a long, rigorous investigation on my own and found where it came from. My mom was being poisoned by the very food she was told would help her recover.
Numerous fish samples from all local grocery retailers were sent to the University of Rochester Medical Center to examine the samples. All fish samples were labeled fresh. The exam showed alarming results! My mom was consuming nearly eleven times the weekly dose per day. All samples sent to Rochester Medical Center tested in the range of 170 to 426 micrograms of methylmercury. These tests were only conducted on the freshwater fish because this was her main source of protein.
My vision is to provide the general public with an organic high-quality fish. The goal is to create a sustainable, eco-friendly organic fish farm where the public can access and buy honest fresh fish. Through the process of engineering, development and research, Steelhead Springs was born. With an attractive name and personal story came support from the public and political figures. My mom and I wrote a proposal to the former State of Illinois Senator Mr. Mark Kirk. A month later Senator Kirk wrote a bill and presented it to the former Governor of Illinois, Mr. Bruce Rauner. Governor Rauner signed the bill! The bill forced ALL grocery stores/retailers who sell fish to label the origin of each fish sold in their store. Because of my research and dedication to change, we are the soul responsible party that pushed this bill to Springfield and signed into law. Now we can know exactly where the fish we buy locally comes from.
Let me ask you something, whether you are at a restaurant or at a grocery store, do you know where the fish you purchased comes from? Have you ever asked for a chain of custody for that fish? Some say farm-raised, others say wild-caught. But does it tell you the specifics of where that fish came from, what it ate, the quality of life it had before it appeared in front of you, and the number of times it was frozen and thawed? Sadly, the majority will not know the answers. We pushed a bill to help the public know what country and environment the fish came from. Next step is to expose the truth. If we could ask you one more question? When you are at a grocery store standing in front of the display window full of all sorts of fish and your eye catches a labeled named "FRESH", what is the first thing that comes to your head? The label fresh is only referring to the meat status whether its frozen or not-frozen "fresh".
Fish absorb and store toxins in their muscle tissue, all of which are toxic to us humans. Sometimes these toxins can be cooked out, but the fish loses all its nutritional value. Traditional farms are designed to abuse and completely decimate the natural habitat of a river/creek eco system. Other farmers use chemicals and sacrifice fish quality and its toxicity because their fish is sold to large processors who in turn process fish where it is not recognizable. Steelhead Springs fish farm aims to change this by eliminating the use of any toxins as well as eliminating the natural water usage and contamination. The plan is simple, ensure that the water in which the fish live in is pristine and drinkable. Our system filters, recycles and reuses 100% of the water. Filtration and flow rate of the water is controlled via complex computer system. The system can be amped up to rotate water in each tank two to three times an hour or it can be turned down to turn the water once every few hours.
Mislabeled fish is also not a myth. It is our reality and can create serious health risks, including conditions that may even be fatal. 60% of the United States seafood consists of cheaper fish being sold as a more expensive alternative. Health and safety risks occur because consumers are unable to make informed purchases of certain fish products to protect themselves against these risks based on the product label. This statistic is exactly where my mother fell in. We were under presumption that she was eating healthy "organic" fish, we were wrong!
With these growing issues, I found a solution, not just for individuals, but also for the community and the entire world.
Steelhead Springs was born on the day I was informed that the fish my mom was eating was highly contaminated. My mom was diagnosed with Meningioma that was directly caused by constant consumption of Methylmercury (CH3Hg+). I spent many years fighting by her side to prolong her life and it was her idea not only to expose the truth about her illness but to provide a better and healthier option for the public. She urged me to build something and give the people a better option. Unfortunately, I was too late to help her because of the severity of her illness. She spent one year recovering from her procedure and she made a remarkable recovery. Her doctors called her their miracle. She was not supposed to live past her surgery, but she did! She lived and even regained her mobility and independence. Arrangements were made to fix and reconstruct her head because of her remarkable recovery. At some point she contracted a viral condition that her doctors missed and misdiagnosed. Her inflammation, back pain, nausea, fever, and vomiting was diagnosed as cancer return. We agreed to a three-cycle treatment and unfortunately this therapy with Avastin proved to be too much for her fragile body. In the early hours of August 26, 2015, my mom passed away. As I sat there and watched her heart take its last beat, a substantial portion of him died with her. From watching her battle her illness, going in and out of chemotherapy, to seeing her smile each and every day made me become stronger person and put me on the course of turning my dream into reality. My sadness turned to anger, and my anger turned to determination succeed!
I set a goal to build this farm here in the vicinity of my hometown of St. Charles, Illinois. I researched and designed the best possible building marvel that will utilize all possible organic materials while operating with renewable sources. The idea is to build an environment for the fish as nature intended it to be. With the assistance of 21st-century engineering and technology, I can replicate and synthesize a natural habitat of each specific fish species. I can then enhance the environment by eliminating all biological pathogens harmful to fish by continuously filtering the water. Water temperature will be kept at the ideal range to keep fish active and constantly in predator mode. Water flow will be changed and adjusted hourly to provide better filtration post-feeding but most importantly to provide exercise for the fish and eliminate fatty tissues. All the fecal matter will be filtered out and removed from the biological filters. The fecal matter will then be processed down and converted into organic fertilizer that people can use for their gardens. After this, the water will be recycled through our greenhouse and will grow our organic produce. I designed the farm in a way so that it would generate zero-emissions. Steelhead Springs fish farm will be one of the first self-sustained fish farms in the world.
My vision is not to produce fish and stockpile it in a freezer. The fish will always be harvested to order, this way all customers can rest assured that their fish purchase from Steelhead Springs fish farm is always fresh.
Steelhead Springs fish farm has a simple goal. Provide the best quality fish at a most affordable price possible. By eliminating all the middle greedy distributors, we can pass the cost savings to the consumers.