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Winter Flounder Stock Enhancement: Examining the Onset of Wild Weaning in Pellet-Reared Fish Stacy Farina, Michelle L. Walsh, and W. H. Howell The Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Winter Flounder Stock Enhancement: Examining the Onset of Wild Weaning in Pellet-Reared Fish Stacy Farina, Michelle L. Walsh, and W. H. Howell The Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Winter Flounder Stock Enhancement: Examining the Onset of Wild Weaning in Pellet-Reared Fish Stacy Farina, Michelle L. Walsh, and W. H. Howell The Department of Biological Sciences University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

2 A Little About Myself 2

3 Science Consortium for Ocean Replenishment (SCORE) Enhancement of natural marine populations – Invertebrates and Fish Sponsored by NOAA NMFS & NOAA Aquaculture UNH: Winter Flounder 3

4 Why Winter Flounder? 4

5 Commercial Importance 5 t/dining/reviews/blog/WholeFlounder.jpg

6 6 Recreational Importance

7 Why Winter Flounder? 7 * * Gulf of Maine

8 Possible Solution: Stock Enhancement 8 Winter flounder vulnerable in early life stages Spawn and raise fish in captivity Release to enhance natural stocks Problem: Weaning onto Wild Diets

9 Weaning? Transitioning to a wild diet once released 9

10 Winter Flounder Diet Captivity – Formulated Pellets (most common) inexpensive and easy Wild – Live diet (worms, zooplankton, etc) 10

11 Why is weaning important? Transitioning to a live diet can be stressful! 11 YIKES!

12 12 Our Project Examine the transition of pellet-reared winter flounder onto a wild diet once released

13 13 Methods Spring 2007 Juvenile winter flounder reared in the Laboratory Summer 2007 Released in cages (10 fish per cage) in a cove – UNHs Coastal Marine Laboratory Cages were retrieved every 3 hours after release up to 51 hours

14 14

15 15 Nate Rennels Mick Walsh and Laughlin Siceloff

16 16 Methods Fall 2007 – Summer 2008 Fish dissected Stomach contents were examined and quantified

17 17 Results and Discussion Get ready for some graphs!

18 18 Onset of Feeding % Fish With Food in Stomach per Retrieval After 18 hours, the number of fish feeding was significantly higher than at 12 hours after release. (p < 0.05)

19 19 Diet Composition Most commonly selected prey: Polychaetes (48.2%) and Copepods (31.2%)

20 20 Polychaete Worms Bivalves Copepods Nematodes

21 21 Diet Composition First 12 hours Inorganics (rocks)

22 22 Values Based on IRI Calculations Diet of Wild Fish (Katie Robertson)

23 23 Extent of Feeding

24 24 What Can We Conclude? After 18 hours, most fish had food in their stomachs. Inorganics were common within the first 12 hours, but minimal after. Diet was composed of mainly polychaete worms and crustaceans (copepods and amphipods), and was similar to that of wild fish. Gut fullness increased with time.

25 25 Ongoing Work

26 Long-term studies of feeding, growth, and survival after release Examine impact of live laboratory diets on onset and quality of weaning Assess feeding behavior of winter flounder raised on formulated pellets 26 Ongoing Work

27 27 Acknowledgments We gratefully acknowledge Elizabeth A. Fairchild, Nate Rennels, Travis Ford and Laughlin Siceloff for their assistance with experimental design and field work, and Kristin Garabedian and Katie Robertson for help with dissections and data entry. We thank the laboratories of Jim Haney and Larry Harris for use of their equipment. This project was funded by the University of New Hampshires Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, The Graduate School and the Science Consortium for Ocean Replenishment (SCORE), a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


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