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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Commercial Evaluation of Alternative Protein Diets and Selected Rainbow Trout Stocks

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Objectives of this research are to develop improved diet formulations and rainbow trout stocks that meet the economic and growth requirements of commercial aquaculturists by: formulating and testing sustainable plant-based diets and evaluating selected rainbow trout families.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This research performed under institutional biosafety policies will benefit commercial aquaculturists, by improving formulations for commercial diets by testing the plant-based sustainable diets in a commercial setting. Rainbow trout selected for growth on these diets will also be evaluated for production traits in a commercial setting and tested for incorporation into the facilities broodstock. Documents NFCA with Clear Springs Foods.


3.Progress Report:

Several collaborative studies evaluating fish meal free, plant based diets have been conducted at the CSF research laboratory during the last several years, with very encouraging results. This summer the performance of trout fed plant based feed will be compared to trout fed standard feeds at a commercial site using production water quality. The diets have been formulated and manufactured and the trial should begin in July 2013. The transfer of research results from the laboratory to commercial conditions has often been suspect since commercial conditions can often be very different due to stocking density and much lower water quality. To address this issue over the last two years we have installed and made operational 3 tank systems (12 tanks per system) each receiving a different quality of water. The effect and interaction of water quality, stocking density, diet formula and trout strain can now be scientifically evaluated, but using commercial water qualities. Funding was obtained from the Soy Aquaculture Alliance to conduct a study in this system and others. The progess from this research in this agreement relates directly to the parent project entitled “Improving Sustainability of Rainbow Trout Production by Integrated Development of Improved Grains, Feeds, and Trout.” Through this agreement our rainbow trout stocks selected for enhanced utilization of plant-based feeds are being tested on a production facility and are being incorporated into commercial production germplasm. Furthermore, through this agreement we have been able to test experimental diets on commercial production facilities and evaluate both fish and diets in serial re-use water systems.


Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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