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Comparison of Growth Between Morone Hybrids (Palmetto and Sunshine) in Earthen Ponds

Matthew McEntire, Scott Snyder, Don Freeman
Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 2015 v.46 no.5 pp. 557-563
Morone chrysops, Morone saxatilis, bass, breeding stock, early development, feed conversion, females, fillets, growth performance, hybrids, industry, males, markets, ponds, rearing, reciprocal crosses, solar radiation, wastes
Palmetto bass are produced by crossing the female striped bass, Morone saxatilis, with the male white bass, Morone chrysops; whereas, the sunshine bass is the reciprocal cross. The hybrid striped bass industry typically rears sunshine bass in earthen ponds, because of the ease of handling, availability, and early maturation of the white bass female broodstock. Growth performance has been assumed similar between the crosses. Under commercial pond conditions, sunshine bass (19.8 ± 0.4 g (mean ± SEM)) and palmetto bass (23.2 ± 0.3 g) were grown to market size (617.0 ± 17.2 g sunshine and 620 ± 3.6 g palmetto) within 15 mo, yielding 4532.6 kg/ha. The net production between the crosses was not significantly different and averaged 4373.4 kg/ha. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) of sunshine bass (FCR 1.70) was better (P = 0.0158) than palmetto bass (FCR 1.76). Commercial processing metrics of each cross demonstrated significant differences, with sunshine bass exhibiting lower frame waste (P = 0.0457) than palmetto bass, probably due to fish body shape or conformational differences at this size. Without growth performance differences between the hybrids, there might be an advantage to rearing sunshine bass due to the slightly better FCR and increased skinless boneless fillet yield.