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Research Project: Reducing Impacts of Disease on Salmonid Aquaculture Production

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Title: Evaluation of formulated feed for juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) based on growth performance and nutrient retention

item LEE, SEUNGHYUNG - Water Institute
item ZHAO, HONGXIA - Water Institute
item LI, YUQUAN - Water Institute
item BINKOWSKI, FRED - Water Institute
item DENG, DONG-FANG - Water Institute
item Shepherd, Brian
item HUNG, SILAS - University Of California, Davis
item BAI, SUNGCHUL - Pukyong National University

Submitted to: North American Journal of Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/18/2018
Publication Date: 1/25/2018
Citation: Lee, S., Zhao, H., Li, Y., Binkowski, F., Deng, D., Shepherd, B.S., Hung, S., Bai, S. 2018. Evaluation of formulated feed for juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) based on growth performance and nutrient retention. North American Journal of Aquaculture. 80:223-236.

Interpretive Summary: Sturgeon products (flesh and roe) are among the highest value commodities in world-wide aquaculture. In the Great Lakes region of the U.S., particularly the state of Wisconsin, recent legislation has made it possible for producers to raise lake sturgeon for management of in-land capture sport fisheries. However, current diets (live feeds) and feeding practices are hindering efforts to raise these fish economically. The primary aim of this study was to determine the optimal feeding rates of juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) fed traditional live feeds versus a commercial semi-moist and a dry diet. Juvenile sturgeon fed the commercial semi-moist and the formulated dry diets grew faster than those fish fed the traditional live feeds (blood worms). We also determined the optimal feeding rates of juvenile lake sturgeon. We found that juvenile sturgeon can be fed formulated feed, and improved feeding practices (defined feed rates) can be employed to reduce waste. These data about crucial feeding practices for juvenile sturgeon can now be applied in disease challenge studies. Given the resistance of lake sturgeon to the viral pathogen, viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV; a rhabdovirus), this species can be used as a negative control in viral challenge studies to assess mechanisms of host specificity in other commercial fish species (e.g., yellow perch, Northern pike and salmonids) to rhabdoviruses.

Technical Abstract: This study evaluated the potential of giving formulated feed to juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) and determined the optimal feeding rate of a soft-moist feed on the growth performance and whole-body composition of this fish. Six feeding rates (% body weight per day: % BW/d) of a soft-moist feed were assigned to each of the one-week feeding trials: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12% BW/d for trial I; and 0.5, 2, 3.5, 5, 6.5, and 8% BW/d for trial II. As reference diets, frozen bloodworms and a dry formulated feed were fed to the fish at feeding rates of 8% and 5% BW/d for trials I and II, respectively. Each treatment was assigned to three tanks, with either 18 fish (trial I; initial BW: 3.5±0.0 g) or 15 fish (trial II; initial BW: 7.8±0.1 g). No mortality was observed during the two trials. Weight gain and feed conversion ratio were better for fish fed the soft-moist feed than those fed the bloodworms (P < 0.05). The dry diet and soft-moist diet resulted in similar growth rates in sturgeon (P > 0.05). Growth performance and whole-body lipid and moisture contents were significantly (P < 0.05) influenced by feeding rates in both trials. Tyrosine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, and valine levels in whole fish were significantly affected by the feeding rates in trial I, whereas only the glycine level was altered in trial II. Optimum feeding rates based on the specific growth rate were estimated to be 7.6 and 6.2% BW/d, or 14.7 and 12.0 MJ/kg BW/d, for lake sturgeon weighing 3.5 and 7.8 g, respectively. These results indicated that lake sturgeon can be fed formulated feed if they are properly acclimated to the formulated feed during the early life stage.