Preliminary Experiment On The Culture Of Blue, Channel And White Catfish In Brackish Water Ponds

This paper reports on pond culture experiments conducted when fingerling blue, Ictalurus furcatus, channel, I. punctatus, and white catfish, I. catus, were stocked in nine brackish water ponds at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge. All three freshwater species were stocked in ponds with an equal amount of acclimatization to determine survival, growth, food conversion, and to determine if freshwater catfish could be raised in brackish water ponds. In the past, fish culturist felt that catfish could not be grown in coastal ponds with salinities of over 1.5 parts per thousand. In the Rockefeller ponds the salinities ranged from 2.0 to 11.0 ppt. Growth was good among all species. The channel and white grew best, averaging 1.3 and 1.0 pounds apiece. The blues average 0.6 pound. The results of the study proved very promising. Even though survival was low, it is surprising that the mortality was not higher. Predation, mostly by otters, alligators, mink and snakes, was tremendous. Some of the fish were eaten at the cessation of the study since it was feared that they would possess a marshy taste. The taste of all fishes was rated excellent and none had a muddy taste or offensive odor.

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