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Ohio Sea Grant College Program
and Stone Laboratory

Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory

Development of Culture Techniques for Yellow Perch

Project Number: R/A-005, Completion Report

Start Date: 9/1/1990

Completion Date: 8/31/1993

Classified Under: Enhancing Aquaculture through Biotechnology

Principal Investigator(s)1.David A. Culver, Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology The Ohio State University*
Co-Principal Investigator(s)2.Konrad Dabrowski, Natural Resources The Ohio State University*
This shows the current affiliation and may not match affiliation at time of participation. *

Funding Record

Source: Ohio Sea Grant College Program
Source FundState MatchPass Through
Total$ 65,792.00$ 44,841.00$ 0.00


To determine the ontogeny of major biochemical components of developing yellow perch under optimal growth.
To test whether perch raised intensively on currently available commercial diets show the same ontogenetic pattern of biochemical characteristics as those raised in ponds.
To test whether the ontogeny of biochemical compounds determined in objective 1 matches that seasonally available in various size ranges of zooplankton from the ponds
To modify existing commercial diets, as required, to bring them closer to those present in pond zooplankton during periods of optimal fish growth.


A yellow perch is a target development species for the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center because of it's high value ($8 - $11 per pound) and because it's biological characteristics (ready acceptance of formulated feeds, lack of aggressive behavior, and tolerance of crowding, handling, and poor water quality) make it suitable for intensive culture. At this time, however, little is known about nutritional needs or optimal growout techniques, and no comparisons of pond and tank culture have been done. Our research will enable aquaculturists to decide between these options based on reasonable estimates of capital and operating costs.

The operations manual and economic feasibility greatly influence the success of any aquaculture system. Solving the problem of perch fingerling supply and enabling the transfer of fry to formulated feeds will increase the interest in the "growout" phase of production of marketable size fish. This research will provide fish farmers with "the knowhow" to choose intensive or semi-intensive culture technology depending on available resources. The research will be performed in conjunction with that proposed for funding from NCRAC, and we will use walleye production ponds made available by The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and thus compliments interests of both federal and state agencies.


Experiments will be performed both in ponds and in an intensive culture system with yellow perch larvae to establish the effectiveness of the two systems by comparison of fish growth, survival, diet composition and biochemical composition of fish bodies. Diet analysis of fish will enable us to determine changes in ontogeny and the simultaneous analysis of the biochemical composition of zooplankton to determine the profile of essential nutrients, amino acids, fatty acids, and some vitamins available in food. The measurement of digestive enzyme activities will be related to the metamorphoses taking place in the digestive tract of yellow perch. Analysis of the whole body composition of fish will set the criteria for "maximum fish performance" and will allow us to use these data for diet formulation.

Benefits & Accomplishments

Comparison of intensive and pond cultures will help Ohio aquaculturists decide which technique is preferable for their conditions and will provide information that can lead to subsequent economic evaluation of capital investment and per-unit production costs of the two alternatives. Information on the role of items in the diet on influencing biochemical concentrations in fish flesh may lead to more effective ways of formulating larval fish diets, lessening the dependence on live zooplankton for raising larval fish. The development of biochemical assay techniques for percids will enable better evaluation of aquaculture techniques for other percids, including walleye or saugeye, which are important for stocking as sport fish in our regional fisheries, as well as being potential aquaculture species.

Publications & Media

Peer-reviewed reprints
Peer-reviewed reprintsDabrowski, K., D.A. Culver, C.L. Brooks, A.C. Voss, F.P. Binkowski and S.E. Yeo. 1992, Biochemical aspects of the early life history of yellow perch (Perca flavescens)
In: Proceed. Of Fish Feeding and Nutrition Symposium. France. pp. 531-539. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-166.
Peer-reviewed reprintsDabrowski, K., A. Ciereszko, L. Ramseyer, D. Culver and P. Kestemont. 1994, Effects of hormonal treatment on induced spermination and ovulation of yellow perch (Perca flavescens)
Aquaculture, 120: 171-180. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-177.
Peer-reviewed reprintsCiereszko, A., and K. Dabrowski. 1994, Estimation of sperm concentration of rainbow trout, whitefish and yellow perch using spectrophotometric method
Aquaculture, 109: 367-373. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-155.
Peer-reviewed reprintsDabrowski, K. and A. Cierszko. 1994, Proteinase inhibitor(s) in seminal plasma of teleost fish
Journal of Fish Biology 45: 801-809. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-188.
Peer-reviewed reprintsDabrowski, K. and D. Culver. 1991, The physiology of larval fish: Digestive tract and formulation of starter diets
Aquaculture Magazine, March/April: 49-61. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-142.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summaries
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesDabrowski, K., A. Ciereszko, L. Ramseyer, D. Culver, and P. Kestemont. 1993, Effects of hormonal treatment on induced spermiation and ovulation of the yellow perch (Perca flavescens)
Persented at The International Conference of World Aquaculture '93, Torremolinos, Spain, May 26-28.

Related Twine Line Articles

PDF: Stacy Brannan, Out on a Limn: David Culver
Spring/Summer 2008
PDF: Stacy Brannan, Out on a Limn: David Culver
Spring/Summer 2008