February 19, 2010

Transporters of live fish are typically called live-haulers. According to William Wurts, senior state specialist for aquaculture with Kentucky State University, live-haulers provide the vital link between catfish producers and their markets. An upcoming Kentucky Cooperative Extension aquaculture workshop will focus on the technical aspects of successful live-haul operations.

"Production and markets are important components of all businesses. Distribution is the critical link between the two," Wurts said. "In the world of Kentucky catfish aquaculture, fee-fishing lakes are the markets. Live-haulers are the essential distribution system that supplies the lakes with fish from the farms. Without live-haulers, the Kentucky fee-fishing industry could not exist."

Depending on fish size and number, live-haulers transport catfish in containers that range from plastic bags to insulated tanks mounted on tractor-trailers. Wurts said technologies can be as simple as using table salt to reduce fish stress or as advanced as liquid oxygen aeration systems. But no matter what, the proper equipment is essential to success.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon EDT March 27 at the Aquaculture Research Center at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. Sessions will include equipment requirements for live-hauling fish; salt use to reduce handling stress; pure oxygen use as either liquid or compressed gas; the transport of catfish fry or small fish and an update on viral hemorrhagic septicemia. Speakers will include Wurts, Forrest Wynne, state specialist for aquaculture in Graves County, and Bob Durborow, state specialist for aquaculture at Kentucky State University.

"We will focus on catfish, but the techniques presented can be applied to several species," Wurts said.

Kentucky Cooperative Extension will also offer an aquatic plant and algae-control training program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT Friday, March 26 at the same location. Topics to be discussed include recreational pond management, aquatic plant and algae identification, methods of control and herbicide and algaecide use. The program will emphasize proper chemical selection and application techniques, applicator safety and recordkeeping.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has approved the program for 3 specific hours for category 5 credit and 2 general hours for categories 10 and 12.

Both workshops are free and open to the public. Preregistration is not required, unless participants would like to receive a copy of Wurts' and Wynne's manual, Live-hauling Channel Catfish.

For more information or to register to receive a manual at the workshop, contact Wurts by phone, 270-365-7541, ext. 200, or e-mail, wwurts@uky.edu, or Wynne at 270-247-2334 or fwynne@email.uky.edu.

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Editor: Carol Spence, 859-257-8324

UK College of Agriculture, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.


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