Submitted to: Journal of Applied Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Li, M.H., Robinson, E.H., Manning, B.B., Yant, D.R., Chatakondi, N.G., Bosworth, B.G., Wolters, W.R. 2004. COMPARISON OF CHANNEL CATFISH AND CHANNEL X BLUE CATFISH F1 HYBRIDS FOR GROWTH, FEED EFFICIENCY, PROCESSING YIELD, AND BODY COMPOSITION. Journal of Applied Aquaculture. 15(3/4):63-71. Interpretive Summary: An improved strain of channel catfish, NWAC103, has recently been released to the catfish industry. Although the NWAC103 strain has superior channel catfish production traits, there is debate whether it is superior to channel catfish x blue catfish hybrids. A research trial was conducted to evaluate production characteristics in replicated earthen ponds. Improvements in many production traits were found for channel x blue hybrids over NWAC103 channel catfish. No differences were found in shank fillet yield. Results suggest channel x blue hybrids appear to possess some superior production traits over channel catfish; however, major breakthroughs in hybridization technology to allow large-scale cost-effective production of hybrid fingerlings is needed before hybrids can be widely available for commercial culture.
Technical Abstract: A pond trial was conducted to compare growth, feed efficiency, survival, processing yield, and body composition of NWAC103 strain of channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus and channel x blue catfish hybrids, I. punctatus female x I. furcatus male. Each genotype was stocked into five of 10, 0.4-ha earthen ponds at a rate of 14,820 fish/ha. Initial weights were 24.9 and 31.8 g/fish for NWAC103 strain of channel catfish and channel x blue catfish F1 hybrids, respectively. Fish were fed a commercial 28% protein diet once daily to satiation for 160 days. Compared to NWAC103 channel catfish, the channel x blue catfish hybrids consumed more diet, gained more weight, converted diet more efficiently, and had a higher net production, survival, headed-gutted yield, nugget yield, visceral fat, fillet moisture and protein, and a lower level of fillet fat. There were no differences in fillet yield and fillet ash concentration between channel x blue catfish hybrids and channel catfish. These results suggest that channel x blue catfish hybrids possess superior production traits over NWAC103 channel catfish. However, problems of producing a large number of hybrid fingerlings in a cost-effective manner remain to be resolved before they can be commercially farmed.