Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit
Project Number: 6402-31000-009-07
Start Date: Feb 01, 2009
End Date: Jan 31, 2012
Catfish blood will be analyzed for steroid levels using HPLC/MS. Ultrasound images of female channel catfish ovaries and plasma steroid hormone levels of male and female channel catfish will be collected prior to the spawning season. Fish will be allowed to mate at random in spawning ponds and parentage of spawns will be determined via molecular markers. Statistical analysis will be conducted to determine if ultrasound imaging or steroid hormone levels are predictive of spawning time and incidence. Female channel catfish will be sorted based on ultrasound image predicted ovary size on commercial catfish farms to determine if ultrasound image of ovary size can be used to predict spawning success of females on commercial catfish farms. Ten standard hatchery troughs will be operated during the 2008 spawning season. Spawns will be weighed and sampled prior to being placed in the incubator, and the number of sac fry produced from each trough will be determined, allowing for a calculation of hatch rate. A similar number of troughs will be operated and sampled using the traditional method. Water flow rates, dissolved oxygen concentrations, and water temperature will be monitored. Fish will be exposed to different environmental temperature regimes.