Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Charles G. Scalet


Twenty dugout ponds in east-central South Dakota were stocked 10 May 1980 with fingerling (mean weight 39.4 g, mean total length 108.4 mm) channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) at stocking rates of 309, 618, 1,235, and 1,853 fish/ha. Supplemental food was provided in 16 ponds (four at each stocking rate) at a rate of 4% body weight every other day. Fish in four ponds stocked, one at each of the respective stocking rates were not fed. Eleven of the 16 ponds which received feed were considered fit for analysis at the end of the study period, 27 September 1980. Two of the four ponds which did not receive feed were fit for analysis. Least square means were computed for fish lengths and weights. Final length least square means for the respective stocking rates in ponds receiving food were 274.2, 266.1, 260.6, and 231.2 mm. Final weight least square means for the respective stocking rates were 193.8, 163.3, 166.1, and 105.2 g. Tukey's test revealed no significant (P < 0.05) differences between the least square mean values for the 1,235/ha rate and the highest respective least mean square values for length, weight, or K(TL). For production purposes, the 1,235/ha stocking rate was determined to be the best of the four rates, yielding 107 kg/ha, and producing an average of 0.84 kg/ha/day. These growth and production values were less than those of similar studies conducted at more southerly latitudes and were determined to be unprofitable from an aquacultural view. The short growing season and less than optimum water chemistry conditions were believed to have hindered growth. Food habit analysis indicated the catfish were not markedly utilizing the stocked forage base of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Taste evaluations by participating pond owners and a taste panel yielded favorable results. In the pond owner test, 93.3% of the respondents rated the flavor as acceptable. The taste panel rated 64% of the fish sampled as good to excellent in taste. Dugout ponds receiving little or no cattle usage were likely to have excess aquatic macrophytes, a probable result of greater water transparency. Assuming 100% collection efficiency, 65.2% of the 489 fish stocked in the 11 usable fed ponds survived. Dugout ponds are capable of supporting channel catfish and also have recreational fisheries potential. These ponds may have commercial potential with channel catfish if a different stocking strategy is followed. The dugout pond may also represent a bait fishery potential with fathead minnows. Future stockings of channel catfish in similar ponds might reach harvestable size if stocked at a larger size (203 - 254 mm total length). Assuming 100% recovery efficiency, 45 of 62 (72.6%) fish left to overwinter in three dugout ponds survived. A new dugout pond was found to be significantly (P≤ 0.01) less productive than an older pond. The mean annual zooplankton biomass for the newer pond was 121.6 mg/l while that of the older pond was 245.3 mg/l, both values were representative of eutrophic waters.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fishes -- Food
Channel catfish
Fish culture -- South Dakota
Farm ponds -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 82-90)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only