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Evaluation of brook trout production in a coldwater recycle aquaculture system

Aquacultural Engineering
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.aquaeng.2009.06.012
  • Brook Trout
  • Salvelinus Fontinalis
  • Recycle Aquaculture System
  • Growth Rates
  • Tan
  • Nitrite
  • Chemistry


Abstract Brook trout ( Salvelinus fontinalis) are a commercially important coldwater species reared in Wisconsin and the Midwestern United States. Brook trout are raised by private, tribal, state, and federal fish hatchery facilities in Wisconsin. Approximately 10% of private coldwater aquaculture operations are presently raising brook trout of various strains for stocking uses and a limited amount for food markets. Growing brook trout to a larger size, if they can be reared in a shorter time span, may present a potential new sector for the aquaculture market in the Midwestern US. The present study reports hatchery production attributes, i.e., growth, survival, fin condition, feed efficiency, water chemistry requirements and general husbandry of Lake Superior strain (Nipigon) brook trout reared in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), operated at an average temperature of 13 °C. The recycle system at NADF reared 1379 kg of brook trout over a 10-month period from fingerling (9 g) to market size (340–454 g). The trout grew faster (0.84 g/day and 0.64 mm/day) in the RAS than fish cultured in traditional flow-through tank culture utilizing ground water at 7.6 °C (0.14 g/day and 0.35 mm/day). Final average weight of RAS fish was 260 g, while the flow-through fish averaged 65 g. Final tank densities for the RAS averaged 40.4 kg/m 3 while flow-through tanks averaged 31.2 kg/m 3. Throughout the project, feed conversions in the RAS ranged from 0.9 to 1.3. Water quality variables such as TAN, nitrite, DO, temperature, TSS, CO 2, ph, etc. were within safe limits for brook trout and will be discussed. It does appear from this initial research project that market size brook trout can be raised successfully in a recycle system within a similar time frame as a rainbow trout produced in a Wisconsin typical flow-through facility.

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