Striped Bass Culture In Continuously Aerated Ponds

Production of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) fingerlings in eight 0.02-ha ponds aerated with continuously operated airlift pumps averaged 181,000 fish! ha. Ponds were initially fertilized with hay at either 560, 1120, or 2240 kg! ha and zooplankton blooms were maintained with hay and meat scrap fertilizers. The average daily application of organic fertilizers ranged from 32 to 82 kg! ha. Five-day-old fry were stocked at the rate of 250,000, 500,000, or I million! ha. Fry were supplementally fed a 45% protein diet 3 times per day after they were 22 days old. After 44 days in the pond the average weight and total length of the 49-day-old fingerlings were 0.5 g and 3.0 cm. Return per treatment averaged 116, 29, and 22% for the low, medium, and high stocking densities, respectively, and daily production averaged 2.1, 1.2, and 2.6 kg! ha. The airlift pumps maintained dissolved oxygen above 3 mg!1 when organic input averaged 62 kg! ha per day or less. The average number of fingerlings produced per hectare was 2.4 times greater than that commonly achieved in conventional pond culture.

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