Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE95-083
This project concerned raising an indigenous species of fish– the New England horned pout, also known as the brown bullhead– in captivity or semi-captivity. Ms. Dugan and her associate, Melvin Murrel, caught wild specimens under a permit issued them by the New Hampshire Dep’t. of Fish and Game. They bred these and raised the progeny variously in ponds, in cages lowered into ponds, and in 750-gallon tanks of water circulated through biofilters. They experimented with various techniques of aquaculture, and found that:
1) recirculating tanks use far less water than natural or artificial ponds, allow closer observation of the stock and, because they warm more quickly than ponds, extend the season and promote faster growth during the summer;
2) solar domes, which can be fitted over the tanks, further hasten warming;
3) fish raised for 16 weeks in cages lowered into ponds consistently put on two to three more ounces than fish allowed to swim freely in the ponds;
4) old tires and #10 cans make suitable spawning sites;
5) floating trout food promoted better growth than sinking catfish food; and
6) fish could be over-wintered in cages, under the ice.
Their aquaculture operation has grown into a complex system of wells, ponds, and tanks, and some 10,000 fish. They have given many workshops, tours, and presentations about their work, and have been written up numerous times in the press.