Theses and Dissertations

Title: Some experiments on the propagation of the flathead catfish, Pilodictis olivaris (Raf.) in ponds

Name: Johnson, Malcolm Collins

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. H.S. Swingle

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1950

Pages: 45

Keywords: Propagation,Flathead Catfish,Pilodictis olivaris (Raf.),Ponds.


Sixty-five adult flathead catfish (Pilodictis olivaris [Raf.]) were secured from Alabama waters. A method was developed by which the sexes could be differentiated by the appearance of the external genitalia. Eight pairs were stocked in brood ponds designed to simulate a stream environment, and in wire pens similar to those used by fish culturists to successfully propagate the channel catfish (Ictalurus lacustris [Raf.]). The flathead catfish did not reproduce in these ponds or pens. The exact factors which restricted the reproduction of the flathead catfish were not discovered. The brood fish were apparently in the brood ponds during their normal breeding season as young-of-the-year flathead catfish approximately one inch long were found in natural waters on July 1 and 2, 1950. As these young were found in both moving and stagnant water, current was not considered essential to their spawning activities. Dissolved oxygen was also eliminated as the limiting factor on reproduction as the oxygen content of the brood ponds was comparable to that of a natural stream and to the areas in which the catfish fry were found. Thirty-four adult flathead catfish were dissected and examined for fecundity during the period February 11 to July 8, 1950. Of these, less than fifty per cent of the testes of the males were ripe. Indications were that only the female brood fish needed additional stimulae to induce spawning.

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