Yield Trials For Red Drum In Brackish·Water Ponds, 1976-1979

In 2 trials during 1976-1979, juvenile red drum (Sciaenops ocellata) were reared to marketable size (454 g) in 0.08-ha, brackish-water ponds at the Claude Peteet MaricuIture Center. In Trial I, survivors from a nursery pond were stocked in 2 production ponds, fed a commercial feed, and harvested when 394 or 532 days old. Less than I% of drum from the first harvest were marketable, and yield was 787 kgl ha with 21O-g mean weight, 89% survival, and 2.8 feed conversion. Twenty-one percent from the second harvest were marketable, and yield was 1,062 kgl ha with 335-g mean weight, 75% survival, and 4.6 feed conversion, In Trial II, red drum from a second nursery pond were restocked in periodically drained production ponds, fed commercial feeds, then harvested when 715 days old. Standing crop of drum was 2,292 kg/ha during Trial II, and 33% of the drum were marketable at harvest. A 40% protein feed ($0.621 kg) poses an economic barrier in Alabama for mariculture of red drum dock-valued at $0.66 to $0.881 kg. Effect of 25% protein feed ($0.441 kg) on production of red drum was negated by a fungous epizootic.

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