Developing sustainable aquaculture methods for the mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, with emphasis on egg production

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2011: $14,909.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Grant Recipient: Delaware State University
Region: Northeast
State: Delaware
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Dennis McIntosh, Ph.D.
Delaware State University

Annual Reports


  • Animals: fish


  • Animal Production: general animal production
  • Education and Training: extension, workshop

    Proposal abstract:

    The mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, is a common salt marsh minnow along the Atlantic coast of North America. It plays a vital role serving as the main vessel of transfer between primary productivity to higher trophic levels. As a popular marine baitfish, the seasonally limited, wild caught supply does not meet the demands of saltwater anglers. This seasonal shortfall in supply, along with the extreme tolerance to a variety of conditions, make the mummichog is an ideal candidate for aquaculture. Aquaculture is highly regarded as a sustainable solution to wild catch fisheries. As such, development of aquaculture methods for the mummichog can provide economic benefit to farmers, distributors, and bait retailers while alleviating pressures caused by the wild fishery to the fragile estuarine habitats this species is found in. I propose to examine aquaculture methods for this species, with particular attention to obtaining the highest egg yields at the hatchery stage. Results from these egg collecting trials will be relayed to farmers and potential producers through fact sheets and a workshop to facilitate the rapid exchange of knowledge to those who can benefit the greatest from it.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1.Explore the effect of egg collector depth on egg production and viability.
    2.Explore egg collecting intervals to determine a sustainable labor cost to yield ratio.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.