The lsraeli Joumal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 49(4), 1997, 222-229

CULTURE OF THE AUSTRALIAN RED-CLAW CRAYFISH
(CHERAX QUADRICARINATUS) IN ISRAEL
SECOND GROWOUT SEASON OF OVERWINTERED POPULATIONS


Amir Sagi¹, Ana Milstein², Yoav Eran², Dan Joseph², Isam Khalalila¹, Uri Abdu¹, Sheenan Harpaz³ and llan Karblus³

1 Department of Life Sciences, Ben Gurion University, POB 653, Beer Sheva, Israel

2 Ministry of Agriculture, Aquaculture Research Station, Dor, Israel

3 Department of Aquaculture. Agricultural Research Organization. POB 6. Bet Dagan, Israel

(Received 27.9.97, Accepted 17.11.97)

Abstract

Redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) were collected after a first growout season and held over winter in earthen ponds under a plastic covering. At the end of the winter, separate male and female populations and mixed populations were stocked in earthen ponds for a second growout season of 226 days. The slight differences in weight between males and females at the end of the first growout season were substantially enhanced during the second growout season. After the second growout season, crayfish weighing over 100 g were significantly more abundant in the male-stocking ponds than in the mixed-stocking ponds and were scarce among the specimens harvested from the ponds stocked with females. Survival rates of the crayfish cultured for a second season were calculated to be at least 78% in the all-male stocking and 86% in both the female and mixed-sex stockings. Crayfish weighing less than 15 g, representing in-pond reproduction during the second growout season, comprised over 30% of the harvest in both the mixed-sex and female stockings, and less than 7% in the male stocking. Growing male C. quadricarinatus for a second growout season thus seems promising. However, development of the appropriate aquaculture technologies for monosex population formation and overwintering is needed.


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