Use of High Protein Feeds to Improve Feed Efficiency and Water Quality in Channel Catfish Culture

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Indi-Bel, Inc. dba Delta Western Research Center
P.O. Box 878
Indianola, MS 38751
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


The issue of organic and inorganic wastes from aquaculture production have received considerable attention in recent years due to the negative effects these wastes may have on the culture systems and on receiving waters. The primary origin of these waste comes from the feed. Wastes from unassimilated feed and the fish's metabolic process negatively affect water quality and fish growth. One way to reduce waste production and to improve water quality without affecting fish growth is to feed catfish high protein feeds at a rate that is less than satiation but still meets daily protein and energy requirements. Such feeding strategy may minimize nutrient input, improve feed utilization, reduce waste, and thus improve water quality. Also using high protein diets and feeding less than satiation may improve processing yield and reduce body fattiness of catfish products. Four experimental feeds will be formulated to contain 28, 32, 36, and 40% protein. Each feed will be fed to catfish once daily to satiation or no more than 90-112 kg/ha (80-100 lb/ac) in 0.04-ha (0.1-ac) earthen ponds from May to October, 2002. Five ponds will be used in each diet x feeding rate combination (a total of 40 ponds). Production and processing characteristics, body composition, and water quality parameters will be determined. Economic evaluation of different treatments will be also conducted.