Submitted to: Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/4/2009
Publication Date: 4/15/2010
Citation: Chatakondi, N.G. 2010. Recent Improvements in the Channel Catfish, Ictalurus punctatus Female X Blue Catfish, I. furcatus Male Hybrid Catfish Production: Hatchery Spawning Replace Natural Spawning in the Catfish Industry?. Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Conference 63 : 215 [abstract].
Technical Abstract: The catfish industry has stagnated during the last 7 years and production has actually decreased by a third in an industry that was once doubling in size every 10 years. The industry is currently struggling to keep pace with the increasing cost of feed, high cost of fuel, production inefficiencies and foreign imports. Production efficiency needs to be improved to lower the cost of production. Application of hybrid catfish, channel catfish female x blue catfish male, could dramatically alleviate these problems making catfish farming more productive, efficient, competitive and profitable. Hybrid catfish fry production has been a major impediment in its large scale adoption for the last 40 years. In the last 8 years, several factors pertaining to improve the production of hybrid fry were evaluated: broodfish preparation, nutrition, temperature manipulation, gonadal maturation, hormone induction, egg quality and hatching protocols. Significant findings from these studies will be reviewed and major improvements are presented in table 1. Hybrid catfish represent a major improvement in production efficiency due to its higher growth rate, lower feed conversion, better survival and superior harvestability compared to channel catfish. Hybrid catfish is the most powerful example of genetic improvement in farm raised fish in regards to number of traits improved and potential economic benefit. Table 1. Reproductive performance of channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus compared under natural pond spawning and artificial hatchery conditions in 2004-2007.