Cooperative Research


  Principal Investigator: Mr. Charles E. Hicks
Tel: (573) 681-5386

Program Summary/Highlights

Three off–the-shelf feeds (with differing levels of Protein and Lipids) were tested for growth, fillet yield, gut to total body ratio of Bluegill sunfish in a 24-tank recycle systems and in ponds. The test was initiated in April 2007, tested in the recycle system until June 2008 and finished in ponds. Fish were harvested in October 2008. The data from the test has been tabulated and analysis underway with the assistance of Dr. Ellersieck, University of Missouri Statistician. Twelve new quarter acre ponds were completed in June.
Hybrid sunfish, Redear X Bluegill, Green sunfish X Bluegill and Warmouth X Bluegill were made in the laboratory and in ponds. These fish will be tested for growth and performance during the coming year.
Selected hybrid crosses were also subjected to cold shock during the fertilized eggs second division (mitosis), at a specific time during anaphase (meiosis) to prevent the chromosomes from completing the telophase to produce tetraploid embryos.   Tetraploid fish can me mated with diploid fish to produce triploids. Triploids are sterile and often exhibit faster and greater growth in other fishes.
A new larval feed was tested to determine if larvae could be started on feed in less than 21 days. The normal procedure is to hatch and feed brine shrimp for 21 days and then start feeding a prepared diet. A new larval feed was tested at 7 days post hatch and 14 days post hatch.

Program Outcomes

Results will be reported later, however preliminary data indicates that higher protein and lipid feeds showed greater growth and fillet yields in bluegill sunfish. Even though the data is not completely analyzed the higher cost (Higher protein, higher lipid) feeds appear to produce a lower cost of fish produced per pound of feed.

Survival of hybrid sunfish in the laboratory was excellent. Survival of cold shocked fish was higher than expected. These fish are currently being grown to a stage were ploidy can be determined with the Coulter Counter.

Success was attained in reducing the larval brine shrimp feeding time to 7 days. Survival of the fish tested on the new larval feed was near 99%.

Program Impacts

Commercial fish farmers may use the results of our feeding trials to insure they can produce food sized sunfish at competitive market prices. Success of producing tetraploid fish will provide Lincoln with a stock of superior sunfish that cannot be replicated thus protecting intellectual property and providing a source of sterile fish for grow-out. Reducing the time of feeding larval sunfish brine shrimp will reduce cost of materials and labor costs significantly.