- Animals: fish
- Education and Training: demonstration, on-farm/ranch research
- Farm Business Management: market study, value added
- Production Systems: agroecosystems, integrated crop and livestock systems
- Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, urban agriculture, employment opportunities
Paddlefish, Polyodon spathula, is an alternative fish species that can be cultured together with channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, providing additional income to farmers through diversification. The growth model for this regional project preformed in Alabama, Kentucky and Oklahoma indicated significantly greater weight gains of fish in KY (2.74 kg) and AL (2.52 kg) than fish in OK (2.24 kg). The addition of paddlefish to a catfish pond can increase production up to 300 kg/ha, with input costs of only fingerlings (> 35 cm in total length) and harvest and can contribute to farm income. Market survey identified paddlefish as desirable.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
1. To determine the effects of stocking density on the growth performance of paddlefish in catfish ponds in different areas of the southeast region of the United States and
2. To assess buyers’ acceptability of paddlefish meat, willingness to the buy paddlefish products and their relevant demographic information, and to develop appropriate strategies for marketing paddlefish meat.