Submitted to: Aquaculture Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 4, 2004
Publication Date: January 16, 2004
Citation: Green, B.W., Engle, C.R. 2004. Growth of stocker channel catfish at three stocking rates. Arkansas Aquaculture 2004 Book of Abstracts: 8. Catfish Farmers of Arkansas and Arkansas Bait and Ornamental Fish Growers Association. Hot Springs, AR.
Interpretive Summary: Summary not required.
There is increasing interest in using stocker channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) instead of fingerlings in grow out ponds. Stocker catfish range in individual weight from 0.06-0.75 lb and in total length from 6-13 in. Production of stocker catfish from fingerlings has been studied, but there is little data available on the effect of stocking rate on stocker catfish growth during grow out. Data on growth of stocker catfish to market size are needed to develop profit-maximizing strategies to producer larger catfish. The best strategies for producing smaller minimum market sizes are likely to be different from strategies to produce larger catfish. This experiment was conducted to quantify the effect of stocking rate on production characteristics of stocker catfish.
Nine 0.25-acre earthen ponds were used for this completely randomized design experiment. Stocker catfish that averaged 0.53 lb/fish were stocked into ponds at 3,500, 4,500, or 5,500 fish/acre on 18-28 April 2003. Fish were fed daily to apparent satiation with a 32% protein floating extruded pellet. Each pond was equipped with a ½ hp electric paddlewheel aerator that was operated nightly, as needed, to maintain DO concentration above 3.0 mg/L. Ponds were drain harvested on 8-10 October 2003.
Gross and net fish yield increased linearly with stocking rate during the 163-d experiment. Net yield averaged 4,591, 4,802, and 5,533 lb/ac for the 3,500, 4,500, and 5,500 fish/ac stocking rates, respectively. Mean weight at harvest was 2.3, 1.9, and 1.8 lb/fish for the 3,500, 4,500, and 5,500 fish/ac stocking rates, respectively. Average fish weight at harvest decreased linearly as stocking rate increased. Survival did not differ significantly among treatments and averaged 88%. Feed conversion ratio did not differ significantly among treatments and averaged 1.94.