Submitted to: Aquaculture Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2004
Publication Date: 1/16/2004
Citation: Green, B.W. 2004. Threadfin shad as forage in catfish ponds. Arkansas Aquaculture 2004 Book of Abstracts: 11. Catfish Farmers of Arkansas and Arkansas Bait and Ornamental Fish Growers Association. Hot Springs, AR. Interpretive Summary: Summary not required.
Technical Abstract: Catfish farmers are striving to reduce production costs in response to low catfish prices. Threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense) have been stocked into channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) broodfish ponds to serve as forage. However, there is little information on its use in catfish grow out ponds. The objective of this study was to determine if channel catfish feeding frequency could be reduced to once every three days compared to daily in ponds co-stocked with threadfin shad. Twelve 0.25-acre ponds were used for this 144-day completely randomized design study in factorial arrangement. Factors tested were presence/absence of threadfin shad and feeding frequency of daily or every third day. Ponds were filled and fertilized. Pre-spawn, adult threadfin shad were stocked (360 lb/acre) and allowed three weeks to spawn. Each pond then was stocked with stocker catfish (average 0.77 lb) at 4,500 lb/acre and fingerling catfish (6,000/acre, average 0.06 lb). Fish were fed to apparent satiation with a 32% crude protein floating extruded feed either daily or every third day. Ponds were equipped with a 0.5-hp electric paddlewheel aerator. The presence of threadfin shad did not substitute for feed when feed was offered every third day. Net stocker yield averaged 3,718 and 3,543 lb/acre in ponds with and without, respectively, shad. Feeding channel catfish every third day resulted in significantly lower yield and significantly smaller fish, but did not affect feed conversion ratio compared to daily feeding. Mean net stocker yield was 5,466 lb/acre with daily feeding compared to 1,796 lb/acre with feeding every third day. Catfish fed every third day averaged 1.0 lb/fish, which is less than the 1.5 lb/fish size preferred by processors. Thus, additional grow out would be needed for fish to attain processing size.