Evaluation of Annual Yields and Sustainability of Food-Fish Production in Missouri Small Ponds

Period: March 20, 2006 – April 15, 2010
Contact: Rob Hayward
Organization: University of Missouri
Funding Source: Prairie Fork Trust

Objectives: This Project intends to:

  1. Evaluate the feasibility of achieving combined annual yields of food-size largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and bluegills Lepomis macrochirus that are consistent with levels suggested as being achievable through the practice of extensive culture (without supplemental feeding) in small, mid-latitude ponds. (H0: Mean annual total yield of food fish achieved across 3 ponds evaluated over 3 years does not differ from reported average yields; HA: Observed yield are different than reported yields)
  2. Determine sustainability of total annual food-fish yields across study years and differences in average annual yields across ponds. (Note: Information concerning the sustainability of food-fish yields across years and among ponds in middle latitudes is not readily available and so comparisons of our findings against “expected” levels of variation [in standard, hypothesis-testing fashion, is not feasible] ). It is believed that our findings will provide useful insights into the extent that yields vary across years and across ponds.
  3. Evaluate the relative capacity of various low-cost indices to predict total annual food-fish yields across ponds and years. (For each low-cost indicator evaluated –H0: a significant percentage of the variation in total food-fish yield across ponds and years is not explained by values of one or more of the low-cost indicators; HA: a significant portion of the variation is explained by values of one or more of the indicators.