Date of Award

9-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

Advisor

Isely, J J

Committee Member

Eversole , Arnold

Committee Member

Bowerman , William

Abstract

I conducted a comparative study of a new jar design (experimental chamber) with a standard egg incubation vessel (McDonald jar). Experimental chambers measured 0.4 m in diameter by 1.3 m in height and had a volume of 200 L. McDonald hatching jars measured 16 cm in diameter by 45 cm in height and had a volume of 6 L. Post-hatch survival was estimated at 48, 96 and 144 h. Stocking rates resulted in an average egg density of 21.9 eggs ml-1 (range = 21.6 - 22.1) for McDonald jars and 10.9 eggs ml-1 (range = 7.0 - 16.8) for experimental chambers. I was unable to detect an effect of container type on survival to 48, 96 or 144 h. At 144 h striped bass fry survival averaged 37.3% for McDonald jars and 34.2% for experimental chambers. Survival among replicates was significantly different. Survival of striped bass significantly decreased between 96 and 144 h. Mean survival among replicates ranged from 12.4 to 57.3%. I was unable to detect an effect of initial stocking density on survival. Experimental jars allow for incubation of a larger number of eggs in a much smaller space. As hatchery production is often limited by space or water supply, experimental chambers offer an alternative to extending spawning activities, thereby reducing manpower and cost. However, the increase in the number of eggs per rearing container does increase the risk associated with catastrophic loss of a production unit. I conclude the experimental chamber is suitable for striped bass egg incubation.

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