Theses and Dissertations

Title: Production performance and seine and angling harvestability of channel catfish and channel x blue hybrid catfish in earthen ponds

Name: Mahoney, M.P.

Degree: MS

Chair: Leonard Lovshin


University: Auburn University

Location: Auburn, AL

Date: 2003

Pages: 59

Keywords: Production performance,seine and angling harvestability,channel catfish,channel x blue hybrid catfish,earthen ponds


Experiment I compared the gross yield, net yield, feed conversion, and survival of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and channel x blue (I. furcatus) hybrid catfish when subject to low early morning dissolved oxygen. Channel catfish fingerlings averaging 42g and channel x blue hybrid catfish fingerlings averaging 49g were stocked separately into five, 400-m2 earthen ponds at 15,000 fish/ha. Catfish were grown for 165 days from May to October 2001. Early morning dissolved oxygen concentrations were allowed to drop below 3 mg/I for as much of the growing season as possible. Fish were fed once daily to satiety over a 20-minute period with a commercial 32% protein floating pellet. Each day's feed ration was raised or lowered based on the previous days feeding behavior. In October 2001 all ponds were drain harvested with the total number of fish and weight of fish recorded. Channel x blue hybrid catfish outperformed channel catfish in gross yield, net yield, and survival (p<0.1). No statistically significant difference was found for feed conversion between channel and hybrid catfish. Hybrid catfish were offered more feed and required more aeration throughout the growing season (p<0.1).Experiment 2 compared harvestability by seine net and angling of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and channel x blue (I. furcatus) hybrid catfish. Fish were stocked communally into four, 820-m2 earthen ponds in October of 2001. Each pond was stocked with 452 channel catfish averaging 541g per fish and 452 channel x blue hybrid catfish averaging 602 g per fish. Each pond received approximately 520 kg of fish or 6,240 kg/ha. Fish were fin clipped to allow visual identification of channel and hybrid catfish. In April 2002 angling success was determined with hook and line and revealed that a significantly higher percentage of hybrid catfish were caught than channel catfish (p=0.04). During seine harvest in March the water temperature was 17øC and during the final harvest in May, water temperature was 24øC. During March seine harvest a seine net was pulled once through each pond, full of water. Fish were counted based on fin clip and released. During May seine harvests, all ponds were seined twice and fish were removed, counted, and weighed by seine haul. All ponds were then drained and the remaining fish removed by hand. No difference was found between the percentage of channel and hybrid catfish populations caught in the March harvest. A significantly higher percentage of the hybrid catfish population was caught than channel catfish for the first seine haul in May (p=0.08). Similarly, a higher percentage of hybrid catfish was caught than channel catfish after two seine hauls in each pond (p=0.07). Hybrid catfish are easier to harvest by seine than channel catfish when water temperatures are warm.

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