These fish are one year old and ready for stocking into a food-fish production pond or into a stocker pond if using a modular system.
The "sock saver" (center front in the photo) being used during a commercial pond harvest. The tanks (Dewars) hold liquid oxygen or LOX which is supplied to diffusers in the sock holding the fish through the green lines. This can increase the dissolved oxygen by one part per million resulting in greater survival to the plant as well as improved product quality.
Fingerling channel catfish being loaded on a transport truck for delivery/stocking in another pond.
Eggs being hand-stripped from a female channel catfish. A blue catfish sperm solution will be added to produce a hybrid channel X blue catfish. This hybrid has several apparent advantages over pure channel catfish and are bring studied by scientists at the CGRU.
Catfish spawn in cavities in nature. In commercial production we place spawning containers (to the right in the photo) in ponds containing catfish broodstock, and periodically check them, removing any egg masses we find. The egg mass being held by this scientist will be placed in the bucket of disinfectant prior to delivery to the hatchery.
3-5" Fingerling Channel Catfish
This is about the smallest size of fingerling that will be stocked into stocker or food-fish ponds.
When catfish eggs hatch, the "sac fry" are heavier than water and will sink to the bottom. In commercial hatcheries a siphon hose is often used to transfer them from hatching troughs to rearing troughs.
Channel catfish are fed a high-quality floating feed in grow-out ponds. Use of a floating feed allows the farmer to visually inspect his crop on a daily basis.
10-HP electric paddlewheel aerators are the standard for the industry. The aerators in this photo are arranged using new recommendations by scientists in the CGRU.
As sac fry develop, they absorb the yolk sack, turn dark, and begin to swim up searching for food. These swim-up fry are nearly ready to stock out into 5010 acre fry ponds for growth into fingerlings.
Channel X blue hybrid catfish appear similar to pure channel catfish but
may prove to be an overall better fish to rear commercially. These
market-size fish were produced in only 18 months from egg.
By counting the opaque glass pellets visible in x-rayed catfish, scientists
can calculate the amount of feed the fish have consumed.
A channel catfish with small bumps and inflammation on its tailfin, which
indicate the presence of Bolbophorusflatworms beneath the skin.