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Eugene Torrans
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Dr. Torrans is a Fish Production Specialist working in the Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit's CRIS "Water Quality and Production Systems to Enhance the Production of Catfish." He has been with ARS in Stoneville since 1999.

His main area of research interest is quantifying the oxygen requirements of catfish in commercial systems and developing more efficient aeration methods. His pond research has shown that if the morning dissolved oxygen concentration is adequate, catfish can nearly double their feed intake, growing out to food fish in two years instead of the more typical three years. The "Sock-Saver", which he developed in collaboration with a private farmer, demonstrated the first economical application of liquid oxygen (LOX) in commercial catfish production. He has done considerable work with commercial-scale ponds, and has recommended a unique aerator placement strategy for large ponds which can reduce electric usage by 15-20%. He is now shifting his attention from channel catfish to the production management of blue and blue X channel catfish. The industry interest in these fish is growing rapidly, due to a combination of higher dress-off, seining efficiency, and increased disease resistance. His recent work also involves commercial hatchery management. His research on oxygen requirements of eggs and fry has resulted in the first empirically-based oxygen management recommendations for the industry, significantly improving hatch and survival rates. He is currently developing a new egg incubator that will more effectively provide oxygen throughout the spawn, hatch more eggs in less space, and use 70% less water per spawn than existing equipment.

Les and Sam Pilkinton, the farmer who worked with Les to develop the "Sock-Saver", along with the "Sock-Saver".  Les and Sam Pilkinton with Sock-Saver

Electric paddlewheel aerators being used in a commercial catfish pond.  Dr. Torrans' research has resulted in new aerator placement and operation recommendations that may reduce electric usage by 15-20%..

 Aerators on the ponds

Newly-hatched channel catfish sac fry.  Dr. Torrans has developed new recommendations for oxygen management in catfish hatcheries that may improve hatch and survival by 10-20%.




Blue catfish being harvested.  Blue and blue x channel catfish hybrids have attracted much industry attention due to improved survival.  Dr. Torrans has been studying oxygen requirements of these two fish in pond systems.


Adult Fish

Catfish swim-up fry. A new catfish egg incubator being developed may result in more and healthier fry being produced using less hatchery space and with less water.

 Catfish swim-up fry

Agricultural Research Magazine - August 2003