corn and wheat middlings in catfish diets).

When they are young they will feed on aquatic insects and small fish, as they grow they will eat crayfish, mussels and other fish. Blue catfish are considered a predator and scavenger fish. The diet of the fish usually consists primarily of live or freshly dead shad or other fish.

Supplemental feeding with a high-protein diet can more than double growth rates of catfish.

The Delta Western Research Center (DWRC) in Indianola, Mississippi, manufactured experimental diets as extruded floating pellets. DWRC manufactured fresh lots of each feed as needed. All dietary ingredients were obtained from the DWRC and were from commercial sources. All diets were formulated to meet or exceed the dietary requirements for channel catfish, with the exception of diets that were specifically formulated to contain less protein than normally considered adequate for channel catfish (NRC 1993; Robinson et al. 2001).

Fingerling channel catfish averaging 67–220 pounds per 1,000 (size varied among studies) were stocked into 0.1-acre ponds at a density of 6,000 fish per acre at DWRC. Five ponds were allotted to each dietary treatment in a complete randomized design. Fish were fed once daily to apparent satiation from mid-April to mid-October for one or two growing seasons, depending on the specific study. During the growing season, water temperature and dissolved oxygen were measured in early morning, mid-afternoon, and throughout the night. Emergency aeration was provided when dissolved oxygen levels decreased to 4 ppm.

Total ammonia-nitrogen (TAN), nitrite-nitrogen (NO2-N), and pH were measured weekly during the growing season. Water quality was maintained in ranges considered adequate for optimum fish performance (Tucker and Robinson 1990). Dead fish were removed from ponds, weighed, and recorded for correction of feed conversion ratio (FCR) at the end of the study.

Fish that were fed for two growing seasons were overwintered in their respective ponds and fed the appropriate experimental diets once or twice weekly when water temperatures exceeded 550F.

Channel Catfish Habitat Use and Diet in the Middle ..

Nutri Source Catfish Diet Floating Fish Food is nutritionally complete and is suitable for growing catfish over 4 inches in length. Biology and Life History: The blue catfish is the largest freshwater sport fish found in Texas. They commonly weigh 20-40 pounds and can live up to 40 years. They can reach as large as 115 pounds, and are considered an excellent food fish. Their spawning behavior is similar to a channel catfish, however, they are not sexually mature until they reach 24 inches in length. Blue catfish have a varied diet, turning piscivorous after maturation to adulthood. Spawning occurs in late spring or early summer months and egg masses are deposited by the female into cavities in logs, or any other bottom structure. Both male and female catfish guard the nest after eggs are deposited until hatch.

Replacing Soybean Meal and Corn in Catfish Diets

Stocking: Comparable to channel catfish in stocking rates blue catfish a fertilized pond can support 50-100 fish per acre, while an unfertilized pond is recommended to be stocked at the rate of 25-50 per acre. Catfish are stocked in early spring and can be fed a pelleted diet to increase growth.

Dec 1, 2012 - tion to replace soybean meal and corn in catfish diets