A South Dakota State University study has used soy and corn as a fishmeal replacement for rainbow trout and yellow perch.
The trial showed that when combined with supplements a soy protein based diet could result in 175% weight gain.
Michael Brown, scientist at Department of Natural Resource Management, said current methods of fishmeal production are not sustainable.
The soy-based replacement also offers future security for food production. Brown said the development is important as the world population draws closer to 9 billion.
Fish farming operations have experienced a massive surge in the past decade, with services almost tripling.