Winter Feeding of Channel Catfish

On November 24, 1973. pound-size channel catfish, which had previously been fed intensively for 6 months, were weighed and measured and placed back into nine 1/10-acre earthen ponds at the rate of 2,000 per acre. The fish were managed through the winter until the following March 4 on one of three feeding regimes; no feeding; feeding 1% of fish weight on alternate days; and feeding 1% offish weight only on "warm" days or when water temperature at a 3-foot depth was above 54 F. Fish not fed lost 99V of their weight during the I00-day over-winter period. those fed on alternate days received feed on 51 days and gained 23%. and those fed on the "'warm" days received feed on 52 days and gained 190/0. Condition factors increased for both groups of fed fish but decreased for the nonfed fish. Length increased slightly for all groups. Although the nonfed fish lost weight. they had the highest percentage of body fat indicating that a significant amount of tissue protein was degraded for energy needs.

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