Theses and Dissertations

Title: In-Pond Raceway Production of Channel Catfish Fingerlings

Name: Carpenter, David Baxter Jr.

Degree: MS

Chair: Ronald P. Phelps


University: Auburn University

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 2000

Pages: 81

Keywords: catfish culture,raceway,production


Three primary nursery techniques for rearing channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus fry were evaluated: direct pond stocking, on-land raceways (OLRs), and in-pond raceways (IPRs). Direct pond stocking consisted of stocking 16 mm channel catfish fry (7 d post hatch) at 300,000/ha into three 400 m2 earthen ponds that had been filled 35 d prior to stocking and fertilized with 500 kg/ha cottonseed meal ten days prior to stocking. OLRs were three 0.78 m3 (2.83 m x 0.57 m x 0.48 m) fiberglass raceways each with a water exchange of 5.1 exchanges/h pumped from an adjacent pond. IPRs were three partially submerged 0.87 m3 (1.65 m x 0.86 m x 0.61 m) raceways each in a separate pond, constructed from a synthetic pond liner and wooden frames, and held on PVC floats. Water exchange of 4.7 times/h was provided by six airlift pumps. Both types of raceways were stocked with 7 d post hatch fry at 35,300/m3. Fish were fed a 48% protein trout ration at, 25, 20, 15, and 10 % body weight during weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively. Feed was given twice a day by hand for the ponds and over a 24 h period using belt feeders for the raceways. Raceways were treated routinely, ad libitum, with formalin and potassium permanganate to control columnaris and parasites. Those ponds and all raceways were harvested after 29 d. Raceway reared fingerlings were restocked at 250,000/ha into six 400 m2 ponds and reared for an additional 90 d. Three additional ponds were kept in production for 119d as a control treatment. Significantly higher survival was obtained for IPRs (81.8 %), than in OLRs (63.3 %), or from ponds filled well in advance of stocking (24.3 %). Fish averaged 4.93 cm at harvest for IPRs with a FCR of 1.01, and 4.19 cm and a 2.00 FCR for OLRs. Columnaris was a problem in several of the raceway units and was not adequately controlled with formalin or potassium permanganate baths. Raceway reared fingerlings that were transferred into ponds for secondary nursery had a survival of 35 %, compared to 5 % survival for fingerlings that were stocked directly in ponds as fry and kept in production for 119 d. Disease was the causative agent of the poor survivals of fingerlings originating from raceways. An economic analysis was completed to determine the costs, revenues, and profits for the three techniques used to rear small channel catfish fingerlings for the first 29 d on a one-acre basis. IPRs profits proved to be the greatest at $l,737.42/a, followed by directly stocked ponds and OLRs at $251.84/a and ($l,620.01)/a, respectively.

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