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item Green, Bartholomew - Bart

Submitted to: Aquaculture America Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2004
Publication Date: 1/17/2005
Citation: Green,B.W., Engle, C.R. 2005. Effect of stocking rate on production of stocker channel catfish [abstract]. Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture America. p. 158.

Interpretive Summary: Summary Not Required

Technical Abstract: Increasingly, stocker channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus; 0.03-0.34 kg, 15.2-33.0 cm) are being stocked into production ponds instead of fingerlings in order to grow larger fish. Larger fish are needed to meet processing plants requirements for larger fish. Growth of fingerling catfish to stocker size, and growth of stockers at a single stocking rate have been studied. However, the effect of stocking rate on stocker catfish growth and yield in production ponds has not been studied. Data on growth of stocker catfish to market size are needed to develop profit-maximizing strategies to produce larger catfish, which are likely to be different from strategies to produce larger catfish. The objective of the present experiment was to quantify the effect of stocking rate on production characteristics of stocker channel catfish in single-batch culture. This completely randomized design experiment was conducted using nine 0.1-ha earthen ponds filled with well water. Stocker catfish (mean 0.24 kg/fish) were stocked into ponds at 8,645, 11,115, or 13,585 fish/ha on 18-28 April 2003. Fish were fed daily to apparent satiation with a 32% protein floating extruded pellet. A 0.37 kW electric paddlewheel aerator was installed in each pond and operated as needed to maintain DO concentration above 3.0 mg/L. Ponds were salted to keep chloride concentration >100 mg/L. Gross fish yield increased linearly with stocking rate during the 163-d experiment. Net yield increased linearly with stocking rate and averaged 5,144, 5,380, and 6,199 kg/ha for the 8,645, 11,115, or 13,585 fish/ha stocking rates, respectively. Mean weight at harvest was 1.0, 0.86, and 0.82 kg/fish, respectively. Stocker growth was linear and mean fish weight at harvest decreased linearly as stocking rate increased. Survival averaged 88% and feed conversion ratio averaged 1.94; no treatment differences were detected.