AU Shellfish Lab Dedicated

The Auburn University Shellfish Lab (AUSL) on Dauphin Island, a new facility designed to support Alabama’s shellfish resources and industry, was officially dedicated in April, marking the beginning of a new era of shellfish research in Alabama.

According to David Rouse, interim head of the CoAg’s Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures (FISH), dedication of this facility was “a dream come true.”
The laboratory, which is an FISH unit, was established with industry input to foster production of high-quality shellfish products and to protect shellfish resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

It is located on land leased from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, an ideal site for AUSL to pursue its scientific endeavors and broaden the involvement of various stakeholders.
For more information on the facility, contact Scott Rikard at 251-861-3018 or

FAA Has Strong Presence on the Coast

The Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures (FAA) has greatly expanded its program in the coastal region of Alabama during recent years.

In the spring of 2003, FAA dedicated a new shellfish lab on Dauphin Island to serve as a base of research activities. In the spring of this year, they commissioned a new 44-foot research vessel, named the RV Mary Lou after FAA staff member Mary Lou Smith, to help with off-shore research. Both have been tremendous resources for research and extension activities but they have also given cause for increased stress during such storm events as the recent hurricanes. Fortunately, both the lab and research vessel escaped with little damage during Hurricane Katrina.

An Angler's Paradise

Six years ago, the 26-acre site at the North Auburn Upper Fisheries Research Unit was a mess: a massive, abandoned basin overgrown with weeds, brush and tall, scraggly pines and willows.

It was, in essence, an eyesore.

Today, those 26 acres are Pond S-6— aka the “VIP Pond”—a sparkling body of water that’s teeming with bass and bream and that just might be one of the prime fishing spots in all of Alabama. CoAg alumni and friends know it as the place where they gather to drown a few worms and reel in trophy bass and blue gill during [Read more...]

Black Belt Aquaculture Initiative Under Way

The Alabama Legislature has allocated a total of $850,000 to the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES) and Alabama Cooperative Extension System to support and expand Alabama’s aquaculture industry and to provide a catalyst for economic development in west Alabama.

Through this initiative AAES and Extension personnel are working in Alabama’s Black Belt to enhance the region’s existing catfish industry, enable newcomers—especially small producers—to get into the business, find ways for current producers to maximize their profits and introduce new technologies and aquacultural crops to the region. [Read more...]

Shell Center to Feature New $5.6 Million Research Complex

The newly named E.W. Shell Fisheries Center in north Auburn will be home to a new $5.6 million Center for Aquatic Resource Management that will be built with federal funding U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., was instrumental in securing.

David Rouse, head of the CoAg Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, says the new facility, which will house state-of-the-art fish research laboratories as well as offices and limited classroom space, likely will be constructed just north of the Shell Center’s research ponds, where the AU Fish Market now sits. The new building will include a market area and visitors’ center, Rouse says. [Read more...]

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