Production of and consumption by hatchery-reared tingerling (age-0) smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu at various simulated stocking densities were estimated with a bioenergetics model. Fish growth rates and pond water temperatures during the 1996 growing season at two hatcheries in Oklahoma were used in the model. Fish growth and simulated consumption and production differed greatly between the two hatcheries, probably because of differences in pond fertilization and mortality rates. Our results suggest that appropriate stocking density depends largely on prey availability as affected by pond fertilization and on fingerling mortality rates. The bioenergetics model provided a useful tool for estimating production at various stocking density rates. However, verification of physiological parameters for age-0 fish of hatchery-reared species is needed.
Additional publication details
Bioenergetics estimate of the effects of stocking density on hatchery production of smallmouth bass fingerlings