Theses and Dissertations

Title: The effects of water hyacinths in channel catfish production ponds

Name: Lovshin, Leonard Louis

Degree: PhD

Chair: Dr. R.O. Smitherman

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1972

Pages: 92

Keywords: Water Hyacinths,Channel Catfish,Production Ponds.


The effect of water hyacinths, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, on water quality and production of channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque), was evaluated in 1970 and 1971 at Auburn University in a series of two experiments. The experiments were carried out in .1 acre (.04 ha) earthen ponds. Results indicate that water hyacinths have no positive effects on channel catfish production. A slight decrease in channel catfish production was associated with large rafts of water hyacinths both years. Ponds with water hyacinths had lower levels of phytoplankton than ponds without water hyacinths. Growing water hyacinths appeared to be more competitive for available nutrients than phytoplankton, thus, reducing phytoplankton populations. Water hyacinths were able to remove small amounts of nutrients. Maximum nutrient removal by water hyacinths on a dry weight basis for a five month period was 30.3 lbs/acre (33.9 kg/ha) of nitrogen, 3.30 lbs/acre (3.7 kg/ha) of phosphorus and 28.4 lbs/acre (31.8 kg/ha) of potassium. It appears that even though water hyacinths are able to remove small amounts of nutrients, water hyacinths are unable to remove nutrients in sufficient quantities to significantly improve water quality paramenters. The lack of a significant improvement in water quality appears to be the principal factor limiting channel catfish production in ponds with water hyacinths.

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