Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318177

Research Project: Genetics, Breeding and Reproductive Physiology to Enhance Production of Catfish

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Development and evaluation of an acoustic device to estimate size distribution of channel catfish in commercial ponds

item GOODWILLER, BRADLEY - University Of Mississippi
item BEECHAM, RACHEL - Mississippi Valley State University
item HEFFINGTON, JOHN - University Of Mississippi
item CHAMBERS, JAMES - University Of Mississippi

Submitted to: North American Journal of Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/6/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: A SONAR system is used to help identify the size distribution of catfish in commercial ponds. A small seine net is used to collect a sub sample of approximately 100 fish in a pond. The fish are systematically sent through a pipe back into the pond and the SONAR system sends a signal and collects the echoes off of the fish as they swim through the pipe. The strength of the echo is used to determine their size.

Technical Abstract: As one step in the continued effort to utilize acoustic methods and techniques to the betterment of catfish aquaculture, an acoustic “catfish sizer” was designed to determine the size distribution of Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus in commercial ponds. The catfish sizer employed a custom-built 460 kHz piezoelectric transducer with a 20° beam angle. The sizer was built at the National Center for Physical Acoustics and tested in commercial catfish ponds in Mississippi and Arkansas in June and October. To test the system, fish were collected in seven different ponds using a cut seine. They were weighed and then sent through a pipe into the open pond. The transducer was mounted underwater at the end of the pipe. As the individual fish exited the pipe, they passed through the acoustic field created by the transducer and the echo detected by the transducer was recorded. In three of the seven ponds, calibration tests were run. For these calibration tests, the same process was used with the added step that a jet of bubbles was introduced in front of the transducer after every fifth fish. Analysis of the measured fish weights and acoustic data were used to produce a Gaussian prediction model. This model was applied to the data from the blind tests to predict the average weight and the SD of fish in each pond. The device and methodology worked well, with significant differences between the measured and calculated weights found in only one of the seven ponds tested.