Effects of Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, on Channel Catfish, Ictalurus puncatatus, Production Ponds

Authors

  • Charles C. Mischke,

    Corresponding author
    • Mississippi State University, Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Post Office Box 197, Stoneville, Mississippi 38776, USA
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  • Matt J. Griffin,

    1. Mississippi State University, Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Post Office Box 197, Stoneville, Mississippi 38776, USA
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  • Terrence E. Greenway,

    1. Mississippi State University, Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Post Office Box 197, Stoneville, Mississippi 38776, USA
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  • David Wise

    1. Mississippi State University, Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Post Office Box 197, Stoneville, Mississippi 38776, USA
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Corresponding author.

Abstract

Mosquitofish, Gambusia sp., have been spread throughout the world to biologically control mosquitoes. However, the fish has gained a reputation as an invasive species and has been implicated in displacing native aquatic species. Gambusia affinis are native to the southeastern United States and commonly occur in commercial channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, production ponds. We investigated effects of mosquitofish presence on zooplankton populations, water quality, disease occurrence, and fish production in experimental ponds. There were no differences between ponds with or without mosquitofish in numbers of calanoid copepods, cyclopoid copepods, total copepods, Bosmina sp., Ceriodaphnia sp., Moina sp., Daphnia sp., or total cladocerans. There were also no differences in copepod and cladoceran sizes. Copepod nauplii were more numerous during the summer months in ponds with mosquitofish. There were no differences in water quality variables (soluble reactive phosphorus, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, pH) or phytoplankton density between ponds stocked with and without mosquitofish. Catfish production and disease occurrence were also similar between ponds with and without mosquitofish. Although mosquitofish may cause problems when stocked outside their native range, there does not appear to be any adverse effects of mosquitofish presence in catfish production ponds.

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