This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Economic Viability of Floating In-Pond Raceway Systems for Commercial Hybrid Catfish Production




Fullerton, George

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures


An in-pond raceway (IPRS) production trial was conducted in Dallas County, AL from January to November 2015. The goal of this work was to see how this new technology would behave in a commercial catfish farm setting and if previously found results of improved feed conversion, survival and production using this system would apply. If so, this could improve the efficiency of the catfish industry in the Southeastern United States. The objective of this study was to evaluate the production and economic characteristics of the developing IPRS technology for catfish production and compare results to traditional pond culture of catfish. There were two IPRS units in adjacent ponds. All units were stocked with approximately 15,000 hybrid catfish fingerlings averaging 33.7 g. Total feed fed, total weight gain, average daily weight gain, survival and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were monitored, analyzed and compared to industry standards. All IPRS units were harvested in November 2015. Average final fish weights ranged from 420.4 g to 523.9 g. Average individual weight gains ranged from 384.1 g to 490.7 g. Average daily gain ranged from 1.31 g/d to 1.67 g/d. Survival ranged from 47-69%. FCR ranged from 1.59 to 2.14. The trial was not profitable at 0.85 IPRS cells/ha showing a loss of $1,542 - $5,701. However, when the IPRS unit density was scaled to the recommended 2.47 cells/ha there was a profit between $9,772 to $15,688 per pond.