Freshwater Crayfish 15(1): 69-78 (2006)
PEER REVIEWED RESEARCH ARTICLE
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The effect of size grading of juveniles and refuge density upon marron (Cherax tenuimanus Smith) production in commercial ponds
Growth rate and size variation is a major concern to marron (Cherax tenuimanus Smith) farmers as a significant proportion of the crop is below market size at harvest. This study investigated two strategies in separate trials to address size variation in commercial marron ponds; size grading of juveniles prior to stocking to remove smaller individuals, and increasing the amount of shelter to decrease competition. On one commercial farm, six ponds were stocked with either graded (largest 50% of cohort) or ungraded juveniles. At two years of age the mean weight of marron from graded ponds (171 ± 1.43 g) was significantly larger than those stocked with ungraded juveniles (152 ± 2.05 g) (P = 0.007). The proportion of below market size marron (< 70 g) in graded ponds (5 ± 0.65 %) was numerically less than in ungraded ponds (11 ± 1.97 %) (P = 0.07). In the refuge experiment, six ponds on a second commercial farm were stocked with juvenile marron. Three ponds contained refuges made from mesh bundles at the standard density (0.15 hides/m2), while three ponds contained twice the number of refuges (0.30 hides/m2). After two years there was no significant difference between the mean weight of marron in 0.15 hides/m2 ponds (116 ± 5.29 g) and 0.30 hides/m2 ponds (124 ± 4.31 g) (P = 0.29).
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How to Cite
Lawrence CS, Cassells G, How S and Bird C. (2006). The effect of size grading of juveniles and refuge density upon marron (Cherax tenuimanus Smith) production in commercial ponds. Freshwater Crayfish 15(1):69-78. doi: 10.5869/fc.2006.v15.069
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