Black and white crappie belong to the family of sunfishes. Crappie are popular game fish in many parts of the United States including Kentucky. These fish are being evaluated as candidates for commercial aquaculture due to the following criteria:
a) strong consumer recognition and acceptance (black and white crappie are highly prized panfish in many states)
b) good growth rate in optimal conditions
c) trainability to prepared diets, and
d) ease of spawning in captivity
The principal obstacle to commercial culture of crappie involved their high rate of reproduction which often leads to overcrowding and stunting. Both black and white crappie reach sexual maturity at the age of one year and can spawn repeatedly in production ponds. The presence of large numbers of small fish in ponds decreases the effectiveness of prepared diet utilization, and causes stunting.
To allow successful use of crappie in commercial production, methods for preventing uncontrolled reproduction are being developed. This may be achieved by rearing mono-sex progenies obtained by means of genetic methods (induced gynogenesis and sex reversal). The investigations of this have been initiated recently at the Aquaculture Research Center of KSU.
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