Development of intensive indoor rearing strategies for largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) during critical early life history stages
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences
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Largemouth bass (LMB), Micropterus salmoides, is arguably the most sought-after recreational fish in the United States. Recently, there has been rising interest in LMB as a food fish and current production techniques produce marginal results. Thus, this thesis aims to develop intensive indoor RAS techniques to improve hatchery production efficiency. Specific objectives were to: i) identify the temperature (21°C, 24°C, and 27°C) and subspecies (Florida vs. Northern LMB) that maximizes hatchery production efficiency, and ii) optimize first-feeding to fingerling dietary regimes using different live feeds. Results suggest that rearing LMB at 27°C typically improves growth performance during early ontogeny, and Northern LMB can be selected for faster growth when reared in an indoor RAS. Moreover, LMB larvae fed rotifers exhibited a significant increase in morphometric development and yolk characteristics. In conclusion, this thesis furthered our understanding of biological responses, limits, and adaptabilities or preferences to an extrinsic environmental factor (temperature) and different live feeding regimens.