Theses and Dissertations

Title: Intensive culture of channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque), in cages suspended in ponds

Name: Schmittou, Homer Rudolph

Degree: PhD

Chair: Dr. E.W. Shell

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1969

Pages: 79

Keywords: Intensive Culture,Channel Catfish,Cages.


A 2-year study was conducted in earthen ponds of the Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama, to evaluate the potential of suspended cages for culturing channel catfish from fingerlings to marketable size, and to develop the basic techniques necessary for the extension of the culture. A total of 98 wood framed-hardware cloth enclosed cages, and 24,952 channel and 9700 white catfish were used in the experiments. The fish were fed daily with a floating-type pelleted feed. Experiments were conducted to determine optimum stocking densities and feeding rates for channel catfish in cages, and the effects of cage position on production in cages are discussed. Stocking densities tested ranged up to 500 fish per cubic meter of cage. Densities less than 400 fish per cubic meter were concluded to be below optimum when culturing fish from fingerlings to 0.8 pound (365 g) average. In all experiments the total weight of fish produced was 10,121 pounds (460 kg) with 12,713 pounds (578 kg) of feed for a 1.25 feed conversion. The highest standing crop produced per cubic meter of cage (421 pounds or 191 kg) was obtained in a m3 cage stocked with 500 fish. In a 40-day period the 500 fish grew from an average of 0.43 pound to 0.83 pound (195 to 376 g). The average weight gained per m3 cage per day was 4.94 pounds (2.24 kg). Feed conversion was 1.34. Observations on production capacity in cages as related to pond area, effects of parasites and disease, water exchange, mortality, construction materials of cages, and other aspects of cage culture of channel catfish are discussed.

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