Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fisheries Experiment Station

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Recirculation > 2006–07 | 2008–09 | Photos

June Sucker Recirculation Facility 2008–2009

Construction of the recirculating aquaculture facility began in October 2005 and was completed in the summer of 2006. The new warm water recirculation facility—which was completed in June 2006—is helping to greatly increase the growth rates and reduce the disease outbreaks on the captive June sucker. The fish raised in the new facility are in better condition and the fraying of fins and shortening of the operculum have all but been eliminated. Basically, the overall condition and health of the fish were greatly improved over those fish raised in 65°F water in the FES flow through system. FY2008 completed our second full year of raising fish in the recirculation facility and we are exceeding the production goals designed for the facility. Once the carrying capacity of the recirculation facility is reached, we inject a coded wire tag into the fish and move some of the fish into the flow through facility. The majority of the fish that are transferred to the flow through facility are later transferred to the Springville Hatchery, Rosebud Ponds or Red Butte Reservoir.

We have a total of 22 brood lots from 1989–1995; 2000–2003 year classes totaling 907 fish. Progeny lots and replacement brood were created from the FES brood in June 2008 and are being raised in the recirculation facility.

In 2008 we had a fairly successful egg take. A total of 264,076 eggs were taken to create 28 crosses and 7 of these were within lot crosses for future replacement brood. 35,315 eggs were transferred to the Bozeman Fish Technology Center for a starter diet study using larval fish at initial feeding. FES kept 228,761 eggs, of which, an estimated 130,987 larval fish went on feed. This is about 57% on feed, which is one of the better years we have had. A total of 79 females were injected and of those, 34 females ovulated (43%). The fecundity rate was 6,728 eggs per female.

Fish transferred or stocked in 2008

Location Number Pounds Comments
Springville 13,756 975 From the 2007 year class
Springville 13,756 975 From the 2007 year class
Mona 27,480 1,775 From the 2007 and 2008 year classes
Red Butte 6,223 1,165 From the 2007 year class
BYU Studies 13,540 24 From the 2008 year class
USU Studies 3,150 <1 From the 2008 year class
Hobble Creek 4 1 From the 2007 year class
Utah Lake 28,719 6,099 From the 2007 year class
Totals 104,841 11,094  

Summary of replacement brood at FES

Year class Lot number Cross Number on hand
2008 080604SKJNFE07 0107;005 215
2008 080604SKJNFE08 94Lot4 217
2008 080604SKJNFE09 94Lot6 215
2008 080605SKJNFE13 94Lot11 220
2008 080613SKJNFE15/25 94Lot8 218
2008 080613SKJNFE17 01Lot4 219
2009 090608SKJNFE04 92/91USU 458
2009 090608SKJNFE05 01Lot1 6,410
2009 090608SKJNFE06 01Lot6 741
2009 090608SKJNFE07 02Lot4 417
2009 090612SKJNFE13 2000Lot1 377
2009 090619SKJNFE18 02Lot8 354

In 2009 we had a fairly successful egg take. A total of 209,019 eggs were taken from 29 females to create 27 progeny lots. A total of 13,000 from lot11 were transferred to the Bozeman Fish Technology Center (BFTC) for a future feed study. We also created 6 more within lot crosses for future replacement brood. FES kept 196,019 eggs for our needs. A total of 63 females were injected and of those, 41 females ovulated (65%). The fecundity rate for the females we used for progeny lots was 7465 eggs/female.

In 2009, we evaluated extracting eggs using the catheter technique and injecting HCG in those females with an egg diameter over 2 mm. Molly Webb and Eli Cureton from the BFTC, performed studies in 2008 to determine the proper time to inject/spawn females based on egg diameter. Based on a water temperature between 13C–16C their recommendation was for those females with an egg diameter over 1.9 mm to be spawned within 2 weeks. An egg diameter between 1.800–1.899 may be spawned in 2.5–3 weeks and those with eggs less than 1.800 mm may be spawned in 3.5–4 weeks (Webb and Cureton 2008).

On May 27, 2009, Eli—from BFTC—visited FES and gave FES personnel training in the egg extraction technique and also the proper method for preserving eggs and reading egg diameter. FES followed the normal HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) injection/spawning protocol that has been successful over the past few years. We injected the females with 400 IU of HCG/kg of body weight the first day, 750 IU/kg of body weight the second day and 1000 IU/kg of body weight the third day. The females were not handled on the 4th day and then eggs were taken for spawning on the 5th day after the initial HCG injection.

One of the main issues we had using this technique was hitting the kidney with the catheter tube while trying to extract eggs. We used 54 females for the catheter technique, and of those, we hit the kidney on 22 females = 41%. We were able to extract eggs with the catheter from 28 females = 52%, and after hormone injections, 15 of these females gave enough eggs to make crosses = 53%. When we hit the kidney, a lot of blood would enter the catheter tubing as we tried extracting eggs. If this happened, we would stop and immediately place the female back in the raceway to recover. To help reduce stress, all females were treated with a .2% salt treatment after handling. Three of the females that we hit the kidney on ended up dying.

Summary of egg take using egg diameter technique

Date eggs checked Female lot number Egg diameter mm Initial injection date Spawn date Numbers of eggs taken Progeny lot created
5/27/2009 94Lot4 1.84 6/15/2009 6/19/2009 0  
“    “ 00PR05 1.93 6/4/2009 6/8/2009 5,310 09FE08
“    “ 02PR04 1.98 “    “ “    “ 5,943 09FE07
“    “ 01PR01 2.06 “    “ “    “ 21,021 09FE05
6/1/2009 94Lot4 2.15 “    “ “    “ 0  
“    “ 02PR06 2.14 “    “ “    “ 3,422 09FE09
“    “ 94Lot11 2.13 “    “ “    “ 10,392 09FE03
“    “ 92ULO 2.11 “    “ “    “ 1,989 09FE04
“    “ 01PR06 2.08 “    “ “    “ 5,792 09FE06
“    “ 01PR01 2.06 “    “ “    “ 19,162 09FE10
“    “ 02PR07 2.06 “    “ “    “ 2,438 09FE02
“    “ 01PR03 2.05 “    “ “    “ 13,000 *09FE11
“    “ 01PR01 2.04 “    “ “    “ 0  
“    “ 91USU 2.01 “    “ “    “ 0  
“    “ 94Lot4 2.01 “    “ “    “ 0  
“    “ 94Lot4 1.99 6/8/2009 6/12/2009 0  
“    “ 93Lot2 1.97 “    “ “    “ 0  
“    “ 00PR01 1.97 “    “ “    “ 16,905 09FE13
“    “ 01PR06 1.96 “    “ “    “ 2,006 09FE14
“    “ 01PR05 1.94 “    “ “    “ 10,773 09FE15
“    “ 94Lot4 1.93 “    “ “    “ 0  
“    “ 01PR01 1.93 “    “ “    “ 20,100 09FE12
“    “ 02PR06 1.88 6/15/2009 6/19/2009 0  
“    “ 02PR08 1.88 “    “ “    “ 0  
“    “ 00PR07 1.86 “    “ “    “ 0  
“    “ 01PR07 1.85 “    “ “    “ 6,750 09FE16
“    “ 01PR02 1.79 “    “ “    “ 0  
6/1/2009 01PR05 1.79 6/15/2009 6/19/2009 0  
 Totals 112,729  

After the first round of injections and our struggle with perfecting the catheter technique, we decided to go with random selection of our females for hormone injections. This is what we have done in the past and more than likely, we will continue to do this in the future. We randomly selected 35 females for our injections and of these, 22 ovulated = 62.8%. With the catheter technique, 19 of 28 females ovulated = 67.8%. For us to use the random technique, it is faster and not as stressful on the fish.

Comparing catheter vs. random selection

  Catheter Random
Females Injected 28 35
% Partial or complete ovulation 67.80% 62.80%
% Complete ovulation 25% 22.80%
% mortality within 2 months after injections 28.6% 17%
Average weight of female in kg .721 .698
Number of eggs/kg of body weight 10,418 10,616

Fish transferred or stocked in 2009

Location Number Pounds Year class
Springville 10,737  892.5 2008
Rosebud 8,155 714.7 2008
Bozeman  12  12 Brood
Red Butte 3,607 511.6 2008
Utah Lake  38,215 7,478.2 2008
Totals 60,726 9,609  

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