Culture Systems

Channel catfish are typically cultured in large earthen ponds, although a variety of other systems including raceways, cages, and tanks have been utilized. Ponds are usually constructed on flat land to form levee ponds covering 10 to 15 surface acres, with an average depth of 4 feet (Fig. 2). Smaller ponds are often constructed in rolling terrain by constructing a levee across a watershed or drainage area, but most water for filling and maintaining pond water levels is from a groundwater (well) source. In the southeastern United States, catfish are generally cultured for two growing seasons and reach market size in

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Fig. 1 Photograph of a channel catfish. (View this art in color at www.dekker.com.)

18 to 30 months, depending on stocking and feeding rates.[3]

Biology and Management

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