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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stuttgart, Arkansas » Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Cntr » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335957

Research Project: Developing Nutritional, Genetic, and Management Strategies to Enhance Warmwater Finfish Production

Location: Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Cntr

Title: Effect of winter feeding frequency on growth, survival, and fatty acid metabolism of juvenile bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and hybrid bluegill (L.cyanellus ×L. macrochirus)

Author
item Roy, Luke - University Of Arkansas At Pine Bluff
item Rawles, Steven - Steve
item Kelly, Anita - University Of Arkansas At Pine Bluff
item Webster, Carl
item Stone, Nathan - University Of Arkansas At Pine Bluff
item Haukenes, Alf - University Of Arkansas At Pine Bluff

Submitted to: Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/18/2017
Publication Date: 7/18/2017
Citation: Roy, L.A., Rawles, S.D., Kelly, A.M., Webster, C.D., Stone, N., Haukenes, A. 2017. Effect of winter feeding frequency on growth, survival, and fatty acid metabolism of juvenile bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and hybrid bluegill (L.cyanellus ×L. macrochirus). Aquaculture. 479:780-789.

Interpretive Summary: Demand for large bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and its hybrid (female Lepomis cyanellus x male L. macrochirus) to supply the food-fish market is increasing around the world. However, production of market-size bluegill requires producers to overwinter them in temperate regions. Winter fish mortality is widely cited by fish farmers in these regions of the U.S. as a major factor that decreases profitability and sustainability. We evaluated the effect of three different feeding frequencies on survival, weight loss, and fatty acid composition of two species of bluegills held in tanks at a constant low temperature (7-9 deg C) to simulate winter conditions. Bluegill (about 1.5g each) and hybrid bluegill (about 2.5g each) were fed twice a week, once a week, or once a month for 13 weeks. Feeding frequency did not make a difference in final fish weight, survival, weight loss, condition factor, and growth rate for either bluegill or hybrid bluegill. Survival was high among all treatments (89-98%). Regardless of feeding frequency, all fish lost weight at these cold temperatures, but hybrid bluegill lost less weight than native bluegill. The concentrations and composition of fatty acids that are essential to winter survival also changed markedly in response to feeding frequency and indicated there were severe deficiencies in essential fatty acids. In conclusion, significant weight loss and reductions in key fatty acids needed for energy were observed in both native and hybrid bluegill indicating that the feeding rates examined in this study did not prove beneficial in preserving winter robustness.

Technical Abstract: There has been an increasing global demand for large bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and its hybrid (female Lepomis cyanellus x male L. macrochirus) to supply the food-fish market. However, production of market-size bluegill requires producers to overwinter them in temperate regions. Winter fish mortality is widely cited by fish farmers in temperate regions of the U.S. as a major factor that decreases profitability and sustainability. We evaluated the effect of three different feeding frequencies on survival, weight loss, and fatty acid composition of two species of Centrarchids held at a constant low temperature (7-9 deg C) to simulate winter conditions. Bluegill (1.46 +/- 0.06 g) and hybrid bluegill (2.58 +/- 0.22 g) were stocked in separate 603 L recirculating systems configured with 9 tanks each (3 replicate tanks/feeding regime) and fed either twice per week, once per week, or once per month for 13 weeks. There were no differences among feeding regimes in final fish weight, survival, weight loss as a percent of initial weight, condition factor, and SGR for either taxon of fish. Survival was high among all treatments (89-98%). Regardless of feeding regime, all fish lost weight. Hybrid bluegill lost less weight (12-17% of initial body weight) than bluegill (18-20%). The concentrations and composition of fatty acids also changed markedly in response to feeding frequency according to canonical discriminant analysis. Fatty acid profiles among initial vs. post-winter bluegills fed at different frequencies were indicative of severe deficiencies in n-6 and n-3 essential fatty acids and preservation of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially when fish were fed less than twice per week. In conclusion, significant weight loss and reductions in key fatty acids needed for energetic needs were observed in both native and hybrid bluegill, regardless of feeding regime, indicating that the feeding rates examined in this study did not prove beneficial at 7-9 deg C in preserving winter robustness.