Influence of forage fish and dietary lipid supplements on egg quality and fry production in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) × blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) hybridization


Herbert E. Quintero, Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, 203 Swingle Hall, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5419, USA. E-mail:


Hybrid catfish (channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus × blue catfish Ictalurus furcatus) display characteristics that are favourable to aquaculture production. Low hatch percentages are a principal reason this hybrid is not used widely in the catfish industry. This study was conducted to determine whether additional food source rich in lipids may lead to a higher quality egg production. A 10-week feed trial was conducted in ponds in Auburn, AL. A total of 219 female Kansas Select channel catfish were stocked into nine ponds, 0.04 ha in size. Three dietary treatments were randomly allocated to the ponds. Diet-1 was a standard 60 g kg−1 lipid floating catfish feed. Diet-2 was the same feed supplemented with forage fish at ∼28 kg ha−1. The third diet was the aforementioned catfish feed topcoated with 20 g kg−1 lipid [10 g kg−1 menhaden fish oil, 5 g kg−1 high docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) oil and 5 g kg−1 high arachidonic acid oil]. Results indicate that brood fish fed the high lipid diet spawned larger egg masses and had larger eggs both in weight and in diameter, with increased complements of fatty acids such as DHA, eicosapentaenoic acid and total n-3 fatty acids. The neutral and polar lipid fractions are also presented.