Article

Effects of Supplemental Feeding on Growth, Production, and Feeding Habits of Striped Bass in Ponds

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Abstract

Production of fingerling striped bass (Morone saxatilis) was increased by feeding fish every hour. In a 42-d study, survival and production averaged 52.8% and 167.9 kg/hectare (150 lb/acre) in ponds to which feed was delivered hourly and 34.9% and 110.6 kg/hectare (99 lb/acre) in ponds to which feed was delivered only twice a day. Types of food items selected by larvae and fingerlings in treatment and control groups were similar. Cladocerans, adult copepods, and chironomid larvae were the predominant food organisms eaten. Particles of supplemental prepared feed were found in 92% of the fish sampled from treatment ponds and in 89% of those from control ponds. The addition of supplemental feed appeared to enhance rather than to replace the natural diet.

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... Once fry reached 15-20 mm TL, the frequency of occurrence of chironomid larvae in the stomach samples was 100% (Woods et al. 1985). Numerous field studies of striped bass fry have noted the role of similar prey taxa needed for successful phase I culture in ponds (Harper et al. 1969;Humphries and Cumming 1973;Harrell et al. 1977;Geiger et al. 1985;Fitzmayer et al. 1986). Since there are relatively few diet studies on palmetto bass, striped bass may be a good surrogate model because of their similar fry size and production requirements described by Ludwig (1999). ...
... Although phase I fish readily accept a commercial diet, it is typically considered to be supplemental to natural prey in ponds (Fitzmayer et al. 1986; Morris and Muncy 1989). Fitzmayer et al. (1986) were able to obtain greater survival of striped bass fry fed at higher rates but noted that natural pond biota contributed a high percentage of the fish's diet under all feeding regimes studied. ...
... Although phase I fish readily accept a commercial diet, it is typically considered to be supplemental to natural prey in ponds (Fitzmayer et al. 1986; Morris and Muncy 1989). Fitzmayer et al. (1986) were able to obtain greater survival of striped bass fry fed at higher rates but noted that natural pond biota contributed a high percentage of the fish's diet under all feeding regimes studied. Similarly, Morris and Muncy (1989) not only achieved greater growth of palmetto bass fingerlings through the use of a commercial feed but also indicated that consumption of copepods, cladoceran, and chironomid larvae persisted throughout phase I. Survival of striped bass fry was also found to be greater when fish were fed both a commercial diet and live brine shrimp nauplii Artemia salina (Paller and Lewis 1987). ...
Article
The role of offering a commercial pelleted diet has been characterized as both an expensive organic fertilizer and as a selected food item for larval hybrid striped bass (palmetto), Morone saxatilis × Morone chrysops, culture operations. In this study, we examined the effects of providing a commercial diet on fish production and zooplankton dynamics during phase I culture in plastic-lined ponds. We also sought to estimate relative dietary contribution of a commercial fish feed relative to natural pond biota using stable isotope tissue analysis. Palmetto bass were stocked into six 0.04-ha plastic-lined ponds at a rate of 125,000/ha. During the 31-d culture period, ponds were fertilized with alfalfa pellets at a rate of 112 kg/ha/wk. At 14 d post-stock (dps), Silver Cup Trout Fry diet was offered at a rate of 13.6 kg/ha/d and fertilization was discontinued in three ponds. Although mean final fish length was significantly greater within the fed treatment, no other production parameters were found to be different (P < 0.1). Following feed application, copepod concentrations within the fed ponds were greater in magnitude by 24 dps. Through stable isotope tissue analysis, we found a significant enrichment in both 13C and 15ν of fish, zooplankton, and Chironomidae larvae within the fed ponds (P < 0.10). Using a three-source mixing model, the mean (±SE) percent composition of feed in the fish's isotopic signature increased from 5% ±2 to 20% ±6 within 16 d. Although fish production was not greatly affected through the addition of a commercial fish feed, enriched 13C and 15ν of fish tissue indicate that palmetto bass fingerlings increasingly utilized the prepared diets over time. However, based on the isotopic values of fish and potential food sources, it can be estimated that natural pond biota likely accounted for up to 80% of nutrient assimilation in the hybrid striped bass.
... Spatial distribution of zooplankton dictates the sampling regime to be used. In previous reports of zooplankton dynamics in striped bass culture ponds, only one sample per pond per sampling date was taken to estimate zooplankton abundance (Geiger 1983;Geiger, Turner, Fitzmayer & Nichols 1985;Parmley & Geiger 1985;Fitzmayer, Broach & Estes 1986). Such estimates are valid only if zooplankton are randomly or uniformly distributed in the ponds. ...
... Parker (1980) reported average production for three treatments of 2-1,12 and 2-6 kg/ha/day in continuously aerated ponds. Fitzmayer et al. (1986) were able to boost production to 4-0 kg/ha/day by supplemental feeding of prepared food. We took no measures to increase production (i.e. ...
Article
Four 0.05-ha research ponds were filled with brackish water (12 ppt) for the purpose of evaluating zooplankion dynamics and predator-prey interactions. Three of the ponds were stocked with Chesapeake striped bass, Morone saxatilis (Walbaum). All ponds were fertilized to stimulate zooplankton blooms using a protocol that has been successful in freshwater systems. Zooplankton was dominated by four major groups: rotifers, copepod nauplii, Eurytemora adults and Eurytemora copepedites with rotifers and the nauplii being the most abundant organisms found. Rotifer populations peaked 15-20 days after filling while the copepods peaked 17-22 days after filling. Fish production was very similar to that found in freshwater ponds with an average yield of 84.4 kg/ha (2.0 kg/ha/day) for phase 1 fish (=45mm). Food selectivity indices indicated striped bass avoided both rotifers and copepod nauplii and preferred adult and copepedite Eurytemora as a food item. However, due to various problems associated with sampling, these selectivity results should be considered with caution. The findings of this study reveal fertilization regimes used successfully in freshwater production systems can be applied in an estuarine environment.
... A combination of live organisms and prepared diets has not been tested on larval paddlefish. Fitzmayer et al. (1986) have shown that supplemental feeding increased not only hybrid striped bass yield and survival, but that nutrients released from uneaten feed and fish feces by bacterial decomposition helped maintain zooplankton in the ponds for longer periods. Mims (1992) also reported higher Daphnia densities and biomass in PD ponds, compared to those in RB ponds in response to post-stocking fertilization. ...
Article
Two agro-industrial by-products, rice bran (RB) and distillers dried solubles (DS), and a prepared diet (PD) were evaluated as organic fertilizers for the production of juvenile paddlefish in nine 0.02-ha earthen ponds over a 40-day culture period. Paddlefish yield from ponds fertilized with RB (209 kg/ha) was significantly greater (P≤0.05) than that from ponds fertilized with DS (129 kg/ha), but it was not significantly greater than yields from ponds fertilized with PD (258 kg/ha). Fish survival from ponds fertilized with PD (79%) was significantly higher than from ponds fertilized with RB (55%) or DS (50%). There was no significant difference in survival between ponds fertilized with RB and DS. Secchi disk visibilities in ponds fertilized with RB were significantly lower than in ponds fertilized with DS and PD. Relatively low Secchi disk visibilities in RB-fertilized ponds were because of a brown stain or coloration which reduced sunlight penetrationa and growth of filamentous algai, not observed in Ds- or PD-fertilized ponds. Larvae congregated in areas where PD was being applied, whcih suggested direct feeding on PD. Paddlefish did not respond when RB and DS were applied to ponds. Cost per juvenile paddlefish raised in ponds fertilized with RB was $0.004, cheaper than $0.011 for fish raised in ponds fertilized with PD or DS. Rice bran is the recommended agro-industrial by-product to raise juvenile paddlefish greater than 120 mm total length based on improved fish yields, pond water quality, and lower cost per fish. The prepared diet may be used not only as an organic fertilizer, but also as a supplemental feed.
... The corresponding value for domesticated sunshine HSB produced in the trials summarized inTable 3 is 202,507 fish/ha. For comparison, a 1986 survey of 12 successful striped bass hatcheries located in the southeastern United States revealed that, during 1984-85, average production of Phase-I fingerlings at these hatcheries was 135,905 fish/ha (Brewer and Rees 1990), although yields of up to 197,680 Phase-I fingerlings/ha have been reported (Fitzmayer et al. 1986). Review of the data for ponds stocked with progeny produced from wild fish in this study (Tables 2 and 3, bottom) suggest that the extraordinary yield of fingerlings from ponds stocked with domesticated HSB were likely due, in part, to the skill of the farmers involved at creating and maintaining suitable zooplankton blooms as well as the prevalence of favorable weather patterns during Spring of 1998. ...
Article
Full-text available
Most commercial hybrid striped bass (HSB) farms rear sunshine bass produced by mating wild-caught female white bass Morone chrysops with male striped bass Morone saxatilis. The opposite hybrid (palmetto bass; M. saxatilis X M. chrysops) has been used less often because wild or domestic female striped bass are viewed as too difficult to reproduce when needed. Beginning in the early 1990s, our investigations at North Carolina State University, focused on developing detailed understanding and control of the reproductive biology of female striped bass while domesticating the species in captivity. These studies established the basic methodology required to reliably reproduce the domestic females to generate striped bass and palmetto HSB. Results of recent fingerling production trials using palmetto and sunshine HSB fry from domesticated (F 2 -generation) parents demonstrated unequivocally the value of female striped bass as broodstock in the HSB farming industry. We repeatedly used domesticated striped bass females to generate palmetto HSB fingerlings using extensive (pond) culture methods on private farms with egg fertility and hatching rates, larval survival, and fingerling yields comparable to those obtained using fully mature, wild female striped bass captured on or near their spawning grounds. Reproductive performance of the female striped bass and survival of their progeny through the fingerling production cycle were also equal to or better than corresponding values for domesticated female white bass and their sunshine HSB progeny. This is the first report, of which we are aware, on the use of domesticated striped bass for commercial mass production of fingerlings.
... Therefore, zooplankton inoculation is recommended when the initial zooplankton abundance is low in ponds . Alternatively, supplemental prepared feed could be used in larval fish ponds when zooplankton abundance is low (Fitzmayer et al., 1986)) but this may increase the cost of larval fish production. ...
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Plankton abundance which greatly affects larval fish growth and survival can be regulated by fish predation and nutrient input. In this study, we examined community effects of larval walleye and fertilizer type on plankton in ponds involving three densities (0, 250 000, and 500 000 fish/ha) of larval walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) and two fertilizer types (inorganic or organic). Walleye survival was not affected by fish density or fertilizer type, and more fish yield was gained in high fish density ponds. The best fish growth was obtained in ponds with low fish density and inorganic fertilizer. As fish density increased, the abundances of Daphnia, Diaptomus and nauplii, Secchi depth, NH3-N, NO3-N and chironomids were reduced, whereas primary productivity, Scenedesmus, flagellates, colonial algae, Anabaena, rotifers and pH were enhanced. Compared to organic fertilizer, inorganic fertilizer increased the levels of primary productivity, algal abundance, dissolved oxygen, pH and total phosphorus. Inorganic liquid fertilizer with N:P ratio at 20:1 and a stocking density of 250 0005̄00 000 fry/ha is recommended for larval walleye culture. The stocking and fertilization protocol for larval walleye culture could be applied to the larval culture of other planktivorous fish species.
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Introduction Hybrid Crosses Aquaculture Production Fry and Fingerling Culture Fertilizing Grow-Out Ponds Fry and Fingerlings Zooplankton Fertilization Techniques Temperature and Zooplankton Populations Invertebrate Predation Rice Bran Water Quality Fertilization Frequency and Amount Acknowledgments References
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Sunshine bass, Morone chrysops X M. saxatilis fry were stocked at 20 fry/L into 260-L tanks when 4 days old and harvested 21 days later. Zooplankton were fed to the fry at rates of 10, 20, or 30 plankton/mL once per day with three replicates of each treatment. Zooplankton were collected with a drum filter from ponds managed to maximize rotifer densities at the time of filtration. The Zooplankton were retained by a 60-μm mesh filter but passed through a 150-μm mesh. Beginning at age 9 days, fry were also offered a
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The application of trichlorfon, diflubenzuron, or fenthion to fertilized culture ponds stocked with 5-day-old, reciprocal-cross, hybrid striped bass fry resulted in an initial reduction in the concentration of rotifers and longer-term alteration of zooplankton successional stages, including changes in concentrations of rotifers, cladocerans, and copepods. Culture ponds without applied chemicals had the highest concentrations of small rotifers when fry were stocked, followed by high concentrations of cladocerans, copepod nauplii, and adult copepods. Fry survival in untreated ponds was higher than in chemically-treated ponds. Initial high concentrations of copepods in some ponds corresponded with low fry survival. Untreated ponds that were filled at the time of broodfish spawning, and stocked with fry 5 days later, had the highest fry survival rates, corresponding with peak rotifer concentrations, followed by a typical zooplankton succession.
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Low and variable survival rates have been observed for the fry of sunshine bass (female white bass Morone chrysops x male striped bass M. saxatilis) in rearing ponds despite adherence to the standard procedures used to stock fry of striped bass and palmetto bass (female striped bass x male white bass). A mismatch between sunshine bass fry and forage of suitable size is regarded as the primary cause of fry mortality. Mortality could also be due to direct predation on the fry by carnivorous copepods. To test the latter hypothesis, recently hatched sunshine bass fry were exposed to a concentration gradient of cyclopoid copepods (0, 5, 50, and 500 copepods/L) during a 24-h period. No significant differences in survival rates were found among the first three treatments, but fry suffered high mortality in the 500-copepod/L treatment. Adult copepods are observed at similarly high densities in culture ponds. Results were also used to test an empirical model that predicts predation rates on fish larvae by a variety of predators, including copepods. This study indicates that stocking sunshine bass fry in ponds containing only rotifers and copepod nauplii will reduce the risk of predation and ensure suitable forage.
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Sunshine bass, Morone chrysops× M. saxatilis, fingerling culture ponds were fertilized over a six-week period with a combination of organic (rice bran at 472 kg/ha) and inorganic (liquid 9-27-0 NPK at 216.2 kg/ha) fertilizers, and at two, three, and four times that rate to determine if survival and growth of fry could be improved. Shortly after fry were stocked at four days of age, one of their first natural foods, rotifers, became progressively more abundant as fertilizer application increased. Ponds receiving increased amounts of fertilizer also had increased amounts of crustacean zooplankton: copepoda nauplii, copepods, and cladocerans, which also are important natural foods for sunshine bass fingerlings. Even though increased amounts of fertilizer resulted in increased concentrations of natural feed, fingerling survival decreased from a mean of 47% for the base level fertilizer treatment to 15.4% for ponds receiving four times as much fertilizer. Increased fertilizer application adversely affected water quality that probably detrimentally affected fish survival. Un-ionized ammonia nitrogen levels, pH, and water temperatures in all treatments were at or above concentrations reportedly lethal to sunshine bass fry at or shortly after fry were stocked. Differences in levels of un-ionized ammonia nitrogen were correlated with differences in final survival. Low dissolved oxygen concentrations and chronic sub-lethal levels of un-ionized ammonia in the more highly fertilized treatments probably exacerbated differences in mortality among the treatments.
Article
Three pond fertilization treatments were compared in plastic-lined ponds to determine their effects on water quality, zooplankton, and production of fingerling striped bass Morone saxatilis. Treatment 1 used only alfalfa meal (100–200 kg/ha); treatment 2 used alfalfa meal (100–150 kg/ha) followed by ammonium nitrate and phosphoric acid after 24 h to maintain 210-μg N/L and 30-μg P/L target levels; and treatment 3 used alfalfa meal (100–150 kg/ha) followed by ammonium nitrate and phosphoric acid after 24 h to maintain 300-μg N/L and 20-μg P/L target levels. Treatment 1 promoted the most desirable water quality, including moderate pH and was most conducive to survival and production of fingerling striped bass. Mean pH values were 8.3 for treatment 1, 8.5 for treatment 2, and 8.6 for treatment 3; differences among treatments were significant (P ≤ 0.05). Mean adult crustacean densities were lowest in treatment 1 ponds and highest in treatment 3 ponds; however, mean total zooplankton densities were similar among treatments. Mean adult crustacean density correlated negatively with survival (r = 0.74; P = 0.003) and positively with growth of fingerling striped bass (r = 0.90; P = 0.0001), indicating that fish grazing pressure was fish density-dependent and that adult crustaceans were important food items for striped bass. Mean striped bass survival at harvest was 86.7% for treatment 1, 53.1% for treatment 2, and 36.4% for treatment 3; however, production of striped bass fingerlings (range, 160.7–173.5 kg/ha) was similar among treatments. Growth of striped bass was negatively correlated with survival (r = 0.86; P = 0.0003), suggesting that growth was density-dependent and food was probably limiting in ponds with high survival rates. Survival was negatively correlated with pH (r = 0.77, P = 0.002), suggesting that alkalinity could be a source of fish mortality.
Article
Food selection of larval paddlefish Polyodon spathula was evaluated by gut analysis in nine 0.02-ha ponds either fertilized with rice bran (RB) to promote zooplankton production, supplied with prepared diets (PD), or with a combination of rice bran and prepared diet (CB). After 40 d, mean fish yields in RB and CB ponds were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than fish yield in PD ponds, but there was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in survival among treatments. Cladocerans were the main Live food items selected by paddlefish in RB and CB ponds. Chironomid larvae were the main food items selected by paddlefish in PD ponds. Less than 10% of the food found in paddlefish guts was prepared diets in PD and CB ponds. Prepared diets apparently were not as available to the fish or were not as preferred by the fish as Live foods. Levels of un-ionized ammonia were significantly greater in CB and PD ponds than that in RB ponds. Decomposition of uneaten high-protein diets in PD and CB ponds probably led to production of ammonia. Elevated un-ionized ammonia levels during week 5 caused abnormal swimming behavior and some paddlefish mortalities in PD and CB ponds. Based upon these results, use of RB or other organic fertilizers to promote zooplankton production is recommended over direct feeding or a combination of fertilization and feeding for larval paddlefish in earthen ponds.
Pond production for striped bass and Morone hybrids has its roots in the population enhancement programs of the various govemental agencies for natural bodies of water. The specifics of techniques and culture requirements are available in a variety of different references, in particular Harrell et al., (1990), and are found throughout the entirety of this book.Most of our knowledge of phase III production comes from the industry itself and has not been significantly detailed in any specific format. Some of the subtle nuances were covered in this chapter but are not intended to be a replacement for site specificity aleach operation has its own unique way of producing fish. Thus there are not absolutes in market production of fish and the produces have to rely on intuition and trial and error. Growth of the industry and continued expansion of the research community into the area of production scale efforts may someday soon afford industry standardization as much as the animal and the environment will allow.
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