The Culture of Hybrid Stripped Bass in Cages
The hybrid striped bass (Morone crysops saxatilis) is a cross between the striped bass and the white bass. The two species were successfully hybridized for commercial farming in 1967 in California. The aqua culture of this fish can be conducted in either net pens or in open ponds. A drawback to open pond culture is that ponds must be designed specifically for aquaculture, and in most cases they are not. Usually ponds are designed with irrigation, watershed conservation, livestock watering, or recreational purposes in mind. These ponds usually cannot be adequately drained or they have natural structures on their bottoms, which make harvesting difficult. However, with cage culture many of these ponds can still be used for aquaculture.
Cages or net pens are structures that enclose a number of fish in a confined area keeping them from ranging freely. This makes harvest extremely easy. The fish are dipped out of the cages or the cage itself is simply removed. Although the cage makes for a easier harvest the nature of the fish being in confined space calls for close management. Pond size is very important when considering cage culture for commercial purposes. Five acres is the recommended size for commercial culture (due to oxygen demand) although, smaller ponds can be used is mechanical aeration is used to offset the problem of oxygen depletion. Fish need oxygen to survive the oxygen they breathe is dissolved in the water. The amount of dissolved oxygen in the water is inversely proportional to the water temperature. Warmer water means lower levels of oxygen saturation, which is where problems arise. As the water temperature increases so does the metabolism of the fish. This higher metabolism causes the fish!
to consume more oxygen. If oxygen levels are low this stresses the fish, which in turn causes the fish to consume more oxygen and further r…