Florida aquaculture regulation...
 Student involvement at UF
 New invertebrate laboratory at...
 UF/IFAS aquaculture and pond management...
 Submitting a sample for fish kill...
 Calendar of events

Group Title: Waterworks
Title: Waterworks. Volume 3, Number 1. 1999.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067314/00002
 Material Information
Title: Waterworks. Volume 3, Number 1. 1999.
Uniform Title: Waterworks
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: 1999
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067314
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Florida aquaculture regulation update
        Page 1
    Student involvement at UF
        Page 2
    New invertebrate laboratory at UF's Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
        Page 3
    UF/IFAS aquaculture and pond management update
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Submitting a sample for fish kill investigation
        Page 6
    Calendar of events
        Page 7
        Page 8
Full Text

University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Volume 3 Number 1 1999

See page 7for more in-depth information concerning
these workshops, courses and seminars.
March 25
Annual Hard Clam Meeting
Holiday Inn West / Gainesville, FL
Leslie Sturmer 352/543-5057
March 25
BMP Subcommittee Meeting Food Fish
Center forAquatic & Invasive Plants/Gainesville, FL
Andy Lazur 850/674-3184
March 26
BMP Subcommittee Meeting Bivalves
DEP Field Station/ Cedar Key, FL
Leslie Sturmer 352/543-5057
May 13
Pond Management Field Day
Sumner's Ranch/ Lakeland, FL
John Brenneman 941/533-0765
May 15
Workshop: "Aquaculture: What's ItAllAbout?"
Sam MitchellAquaculture Farm/ Blountstown, FL
Debbie Britt 850/674-3184
May 17 28
Diseases of Warm Water Fish
Tropical Aquaculture Lab/ Ruskin, FL
and Whitney Marine Laboratory/ St. Augustine, FL
Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd 352/392-9617 ext 229
May 17 20
Aquatic Weed Control & Revegetation Short Course
Ft. Lauderdale Marriot North / Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Dr. Vernon Vandiver, Jr. 954/475-8990





Now that aquaculture culturists in Florida will be
permitting and regulatory required to have an
responsibilities have been Aquaculture Certificate.
transferred to the Bureau of H
How are the BMPs
Seafood and Aquaculture being developed?
(within the Florida Depart- n effort to develop
ment of Agriculture and BMPsthatareacceptabl
Consumer Services, or to both farmers and regu-
DACS), aquaculturists lators, a state-wide Tech-
should knowthat changes nicalAdvisory Committee
aretakingplaceintheper- has been formed. Six
mitting process. subcommittees have been
Instead of permitting designated to represent
based on the traditional Florida's aquaculture
multi-agency regulatory commodity groups: aquatic
approach, a set of Best gu
approach, a set of Best plants, bivalves, food fish,
Management Practices shrimp, tropicalfish, and an
(BMPs) will be used as 'other species'committee. A
guidelines for farmers to regulatory subcommittee
follow. has also been formed that's
If an aquaculture farmer comprised of representa-
can demonstrate that he/ tives from the various
she is employing appropri- regulatory agencies involved
ate BMPs for their specific in the process.
aquaculture crop or com- "This should save us
modity group, they will be quite a bit of time in the long
provided with an Aquacul- run," said Mark Jennings,
ture Certificate. All aqua- Environmental Specialist

with the Office ofAgricultural
Water Policy "Representa-
tives serving on this commit-
tee will ultimately be the
ones giving final approval of
the BMPs for the various
commodity groups. We
thought it made sense that
they be involved in the pro-
cess from the beginning."
All aquaculturists are
encouraged to participate
by communicating their
ideas and concerns to
their commodity group
chairperson. You can also
call these individuals for
meeting dates, or to
be included on the
subcommittee's mail list.

(Continued on page 3.)

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Department of Fishaqista dSciel c


The Cooperative Exten- DEPA
sion Service uses State OF F
Major Programs to provide AND
guidance and direction to RESi
extension efforts in Florida. ECO
Each major program has a
design team responsible for Chucl
establishing priorities, 352/3
implementing extension adam
programs, and evaluating David
impacts. Aquaculture and 850/8
Pond Management is a djz@
State Major Program, with
the following design team DEPA
members: AGR
Chuck Cichra Team Leader buckl
352/392-9617 ext. 249
fish@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu MITC
Ruth Francis-Floyd FARI
352/392-9617 ext. 229 (Bl
Frank Chapman State
352/392-9617 ext. 247 850/6
fac@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu ufmaf

Amy Richard Editor Debb
352/392-9617 ext. 277 Aqua
arich@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu 850/6
Ken Langeland (RusI
kal@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu Craig
Roy Y
Leslie Sturmer 813/6
Multi-county shellfish aquaculture rpy@
Molly Sandfoss whoa
Dade County resea
305/248-3311 ext. 230 pond
sandfoss@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu will be
Don Sweat you t
Sea Grant Multi-County thede
813/553-3399 progr
dsweat@seas.marine.usf.edu faculty
John Brenneman
Polk/Hillsborough Counties



k Adams
92-1826 ext. 223





Aquaculture Contact

ie Britt
culture Biologist


@gnv.ifas. ufl.edu


Share many other faculty
ssistwith extension and
rch in aquaculture and
management and we
periodically focusing on
efforts. We encourage
o become familiar with
sign team, its role in our
rams, and how the
y can collectively or
dually assist you.

Student Involvement at UF

Undergradate and graduate students are an important part of the teaching, research,
and extension programs at the University of Florida. Involvement of individual students
in these programs will be highlighted in each issue of WaterWorks.

Erin Bledsoe grew up in
Huntington, Indiana
and earned her bachelors
degree in Biology at
Purdue University. A few
months later she was at
UF in Gainesville, begin-
ning her Master's degree in
Estuarine Marine Ecology
at the Departmentof Fish-
eries andAquatic Sciences.
Now, after dozens of
sampling trips in Florida's
renowned SuwanneeRiver
basin, followed by count-
less hours in the classroom,
and in the lab with a micro-
scope, Erin has completed
her degree.
The focus of her work
was to monitor a rich and
constant belt of plankton
growth she discovered
just offshore of the
Suwannee River estuary,
Originating in the
Okefenokee Swamp, the
Suwannee River has an
impressive flow rate -
emptying its total volume
of water about every 10
days, with constant
replenishment from the
swamp. Such a continual
source of fresh water and
nutrients has apparently
formed the plankton belt,
which serves as a source
of food for area clam, oys-
ter, and scallop beds, as
well as filter-feeding baitfish.
Oddly, this important
source of marine food for
so many coastal species
had never been studied
along this part of Florida's
west coast.
Initially, Erin's work was
to establish baseline water
quality data for the
Suwannee River and estu-
ary; widespread concerns
continue about the poten-
tial consequences of high
nitrate levels in the river,
generally regarded as
coming from dairy and
poultry farming within that

Erin uses a Van Dorn water
sampler that allows samples to
be taken from below the
water's surface.

The study was also
designed to describe the
abundance and composi-
tion of primary producers in
the river and coastal envi-
ronments most directly
impacted by the river's
outflow. Objectives were to:
* Characterize spatial and
temporal patterns of phy-
toplankton within the river and
coastal environment during
periods of high and low flow.
Fortunately El Nino provided

These microscopic diatonns
werefound in water samples
collected apart ofErin s

a very high flow. (River resi-
dents called it flooding).
* Address the potential for
limiting factors of phytoplank-
ton standing crops, specifi-

cally light and nutrient
Physical, chemical and
biological parameters
were determined for the
Suwannee's estuary. Erin
collected water samples
fromatransect starting four
miles upstream, and ex-
tending up to 20 miles off-
shore, during an 18-month
Water analysis indicates
that nutrients are trans-
ported from the river into
the Gulf. There is a shift-
ing region of sufficient
light and nutrients in the
estuary for phytoplankton
to bloom. This narrow
band of elevated plank-
ton growth is located
between the light-limited
(dark) river water and
nutrient limitation in the
open Gulf.
Patterns of nutrients
and light appear to be
influenced by seasonally
dependent variation in
the river's flow, nutrient
content, and color.
Large centric diatoms in
the Rhizosolenia group
were often dominant
during the study period.
Small blue-green and
green algae were also
found in high densities.
So, the next time you
enjoy a Gulf oyster,
Cedar Key clam, or scal-
lops from Steinhatchee,
it's quite likely these tasty
shellfish were nourished to
some or even a large
degree fromthe rich bloom
of plankton now growing
and dispersing (via Gulf
Erin Bledsoe success-
fully defended her thesis
last summer and is now
working under a Ph.D.
fellowship on Estuarine
Studies of Plankton.
Ed Phlips
352/392-9617 ext 248

New Invertebrate Laboratory

at UF's Department of

Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

The Freshwater Invertebrate
Resources Unit of the Florida Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission (GFC) has
recently become a new resident at UF/IFAS'
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
The move is intended to facilitate cooperative
research efforts between
UF and the GFC and to
provide taxonomic and
ecological expertise on
aquatic invertebrates to
UF faculty, staff, and stu- ,.-
dents. The unitwill also be
providing assistance to
researchers at the USGS
Florida Caribbean Sci-
ence Center, located just
across the street from the
The unit is staffed by
Gary Warren and Darrie Hohlt. Once the move is
complete and facilities are 100 percent operational,
as many as six laboratory technicians will be
The primary function of the unit is to evaluate

native to North America are preferred as implants
by the 3.5 billion dollars per year Japanese
cultured pearl industry. States that have allowed
commercial harvest, most notably upper Midwest-
ern states adjacent to the Mississippi River,
Tennessee, and Alabama, have experienced sub-
stantial declines in their
native mussel populations.
The Florida regulation
) _was enacted over the
protests of commercial
"_- .- harvesters from Tennessee
and Alabama, who
depleted easily accessible
mussel populations in their
own states and conducted
trial harvests in Florida prior
to enactment of the rule.
As part of its educa-
tional role, the unit most
recently produced a zebra mussel information sheet
and slide presentation. Zebra mussels are native
to eastern Europe and were accidently introduced
into the Great Lakes in the mid 1980s; they repro-
duce in extremely large numbers and cause

trophic status and food web viabil- economic damage by forming thick
ity in "problem" lakes and streams mats on submerged surfaces includ-
throughout Florida; invertebrate ing intake piping, piers, pumps, and
community structure is the primary boat hulls. They also colonize native
tool used for these evaluations. "mussels and crayfish.
In addition, Gary and his staff Since their introduction, zebra
work to: mussels have spread throughout the
*restore invertebrate populations in \ Midwest and down the entire length
damaged systems; of the Mississippi River. Their closest
known proximity to Florida is the
Author state regulations aimed at protecting Tombigbee system in Alabama. The GFC inverte-
endangered and threatened invertebrate species; brate unit responds to reports of zebra mussels in
create and distribute educational Florida, and, inAugust 1998, identi-
resources related to freshwater fied zebra mussels from an
invertebrates, and aquarium in a bait and tackle shop
conduct basic ecological and in Eustis. The proprietoroftheshop
systematic research on selected intendedtointroducethemusselsinto
species. his pond to increase water clarity.
The unit moved to Gainesville Ongoing projects include inver-
from Okeechobee, where, from its A tebrate community evaluations and
creation in 1987 until 1996, t fo- snail population restoration in Lake
caused primarily upon evaluating IPanasoffkee in SumterCounty and
the biological health of Lake r Merritt's Mill Pond in Jackson
Okeechobee. County. Popular bream fisheries in
Results from that ten year these lakes declined after important
investigation were among the first invertebrate food web components
to show that Lake Okeechobee is disappeared.
segregated into several ecological The unit's staff are excited about
zones, each characterized by a working closelywith UFfaculty, staff,
tinstinc hi nii ical community and students and welcome the opportunity to

Continued from page 1

Aquatic Plants
Brad McLane

In association with it's regulatory role, the Fresh-
water Invertebrate Resources Unit most recently
authored the Florida Mussel Rule, which prohibits
the commercial harvest of native freshwater mus-
sels in Florida. Shell fragments from mussels

contribute through cooperative projects and by
providing taxonomic and ecological expertise and
Gary Warren
352/392-9617 ext. 279

Leslie Sturmer

Food Fish
Andy Lazur

Other species
Alan Maxwell

Mike Ednoff

Tropical Fish
Craig Watson

Regulatory Subcommittee
Mark Luchte

Interim Measures to be
followed while BMPs are
being developed:
The development of BMPs is a lengthy
process, and so until they are complete, a
series of interim measures are being
drafted. A final draft is expected to be
complete in the next few weeks. If you
have any questions regarding certification,
permits or progress of BMP development,

Office of Agricultural Water
Frank Leteux or Bill Bartnick

DACS / Bureau of Seafood and
Kal Knickerbocker

7~-^r k

UF/IFAS Aquaculture

and Pond Management Update

Dr. Mike Allen poses with a shoal bass, a threatened
species in the Chipola River.

Department of
Fisheries and

Identifying Critical
Habitats for
Threatened Shoal
The shoal bass is an
undescribed black bass
Micropterus spp. endemic
to southwest Georgia,
southeast Alabama, and a
very limited distribution in
the Florida Panhandle. Its
distribution in Florida is lim-
ited to a stretch of the
Chipola River from
Marianna to Clarksville.
Due to its limited distribution
in Florida, the shoal bass is
listed as threatened.
Dr. Mike Allen recently
began a study to identify
critical habitats forthe shoal
bass in the Chipola River.
This project is funded bythe
Florida Game and Fresh
Water Fish Commission,
Division of Wildlife.
The purpose of the study
is to identify important micro-
habitats forjuvenile and adult
shoal bass in the Chipola
River from Marianna south to
The project will develop
a model to predict the

occurrence of juvenile and
adult shoal bass based on
microhabitat characteristics
(e.g., specific depth, sub-
strate, and flow character-
istics) within the Chipola
This model will hopefully
allow resource managers to
identify critical habitats for
preservation of the shoal
bass in Florida. Mr. Powell
Wheeler, a recent graduate
from Virginia Tech Univer-
sity, began pursuit of a
Master's Degree related to
the study in January.
Mike Allen
352/392-9617 ext. 252

Shellfish .
Cedar Key
After crop losses and seed
shortages associated with last
year's adverse weather con-
ditions, the new year has
brought fresh prospects for
Florida clam farmers:
* A relatively mild winter
resulted in phenomenal
growth rates encouraging
news to many farmers on
Florida's west coast where
clams were dormant after

heavy rains brought
extended periods of low
salinities, in 1998.
* Seed production is ex-
pected to rebound as several
new private hatcheries come
on line this year and existing
hatcheries around the state
expand their efforts. Harbor
Branch Oceanographic
Institution's new clam hatch-
ery will also be in operation
this year. Call me for a list of
seed suppliers.
* The U.S. Department of
Agriculture Farm Service
Agency approved the Non-
insured CropAssistance Pro-
gram (NAP) area designation
for Levy and Dixie Counties
- farmers with a qualifying
clam loss related to lastyear's
excessive rainfall will be eli-
gible for NAP payment. A
workshop conducted in Janu-
ary with the USDA Risk Man-
agementAgency initiated the
development of a crop insur-
ance program for clams.
Presently the agency is work-
ing on an insurance policy with
a pilot program planned forsev-
eral coastal counties in Florida
as early as this year.
* The development of Best
Management Practices for
bivalve facilities will move for-
ward this year. Feel free to
contact me for meeting dates
and progress reports.
* Also effective next month
will be the revised manage-
ment plan for the Horseshoe
Beach shellfish harvesting
area, put forth by the Depart-
ment of Environmental
Protection, and affecting
leases in Dixie County. The
new plan will significantly
decrease the number of clo-
sure days allowing farm-
ers in that area the ability to
develop long-term marketing
* Marketing is being aggres-
sively addressed this year;
the Department of Agricul-
ture and Consumer Ser-
vices kicks off an exciting

marketing campaign for
Florida farm-raised clams
this month with promotions
in several restaurant chains.
Highlights include in-store
publications at a grocery
chain, color ads in culinary
publications, presentationsto
culinary associations, and
segments on a food network.
* Product quality is also be-
ing addressed. At industry's
request, the DEP has initi-
ated the rule amendment
process to consider incor-
porating a drytempering re-
gime into the shellfish code.
According to research
conducted at the UF Aquatic
Food Products Lab over the
past three years, this will en-
hance shelf life of clams dur-
ing the summer months.
This will be a major item
for discussion at our annual
hard clam meeting hosted by
the Aquatic Food Products
Lab scheduled on March 25
at the Holiday Inn West in
Other product quality-
related topics include the
development of a quality as-
surance program. Ifyou have
suggestions for other topics
to be included in the agenda,
please give me a call. Look-
ing forward to a productive
and prosperous year!
Leslie Sturmer

Extension /
The aquaculture industry
is no different from any other
industry; success is heavily
dependent on its employees.
With this in mind, the Mi-
ami-Dade County Coopera-
tive Extension Service re-
cently held an all-day aquac-
ulture training session for

teachers the keyto a well-
trained future work force.
The session was held at
Coral Reef High School where
a fish tank has been installed
and is currently being used for
tilapia production.
Twenty-six teachers from
all grade levels and both
Broward and Miami-Dade
Counties, attended the train-
ing. Since most teachers do
not have a background in
aquaculture education, Train-
ing for Teachers Part 1
provided participants with
the basics:
*why aquaculture is important;
*a brief history of aquaculture,
*a description of species;
*aquaculture systems;
*answers to the question,
"What do I need?," and
*additional sources for infor-
In the session "What do I
need?" each teacher con-
structed mini recirculating
systems built with materials
from a local hardware store.
In the Aquaculture Basics
segment, they dissected fish
to learn more about fish physi-
ology and anatomy. The fish
were donated by Mr. Pablo
Tepoot, New Life Exotic Fish,
Future training sessions
are being planned to expand
on the basics. Training Phase
Part II has been tentatively
scheduled for April (exact
date to be announced). This
training will include Water
Quality Management and
Fish Health Management.
Teachers that have water
quality testing kits should
bring them.
If you are an aquaculture
producer in Florida and inter-
ested in supplying small
orders of fry or fingerlings to
school programs please give
us a call.
Molly A. Sandfoss
305/248-3311 ext. 230

An aerial view of UF/FAS' TropicalAquaculture Laboratory in

Ruskin, Florida near Tampa.


Pond Repair to Begin
in March
Repair of the ponds and
ditches at the Tropical
Aquaculture Laboratory will
begin in early March, and is
slated to be completed in
April. Many of the ponds
have filled in over the years,
and all of the ditches need
repair work. Following this
time table, we hope to start
stocking ponds this Spring.
Anyone interested in seeing
the operation in progress is
more than welcome to come
out and see us.

New Label
for Diuron Expected
Diuron is an herbicide
known to have algicidal
properties, but has not had
an aquatic label allowing its
use in ponds. As a result of
the University of Florida's re-
search, the Florida Tropical
Fish Farms Association an-
ticipates the issuance of a
24C, Special Local Need
label in March.
The product will be a
restricted use pesticide
labeled to control macroalgae

in commercial, freshwater
ornamental fish production
ponds, and will be pack-
aged under the new prod-
uct brand name Nautilus,
produced by Griffin LLC.
The Florida Department
of Agriculture and Con-
sumer Services' Pesticide
Review and Evaluation
Committee forwarded the
application package to
IFAS for review in early
February. The label will
also require review by the
federal Environmental Pro-
tection Agency.
The label will allow for
dosages up to 1.0 mg/I
active ingredient. Nautilus,
which will be an 80% Dry
Flowable Diuron. The tar-
get species of macroalgae,
Chara sp., is a major weed
problem in many ornamen-
tal fish production ponds,
and currently there is no
good alternative treatment
available, especially since
the discontinuance of
dichlobenyl (Casoron).
Chance Debose, a
graduate student working
for Dr. Ken Langeland at
the Center forAquatic and
Invasive Plants in Gaines-
ville, conducted the primary
research used forthis label-
ing effort. Griffin LLC's labo-
ratory in Valdosta, Georgia,
and the Tropical Aquacul-

ture Laboratory in Ruskin
were also involved in the pro-
cess. Chance's research
was funded by the Florida
Tropical Fish Farms Asso-
The label will state that
Nautilus should be used in
one treatment, with no more
than three treatments per
year, per pond, when
macroalgae are present It
will also require a 30 day in-
terval, aftertreatment, before
any off-site discharge of
pond water.
Nautilus will only be avail-
able to commercial, freshwa-
ter, ornamental fish produc-
ers in Florida who possess
a Restricted Use Pesticide
Applicator License. For
more information, please
contact the Tropical Aquac-
ulture Laboratory.

Welcome to Two New
Staff Members
In late October, two new
biologists were hired at the
Tropical Aquaculture Labo-
ratory, with funds provided
by the Florida Legislature.
Scott Graves will be
primarily in charge of activi-
ties on the fish farm portion
of the facility. Scott was
recently an aquarist at the
Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa,
and has a wealth of knowl-
edge about general
husbandry techniques,
systems management, and
fish biology. He has a B.S.
in Biology, with a minor in
Chemistry, from Florida
State University
Eric Curtis will be working
primarily in our fish health
section, assisting Dr. Yanong
with the diagnostic lab and
research. His most recent
experience was with the
Hartz Mountain Corporation
in their Gibsonton Aquatic
Technology lab. Eric is in the
process of completing his
Masters degree in Aquacul-
ture with TexasA&M Univer-

sity. He has a B.S. from the Mitchell
University of Texas. Eric Aquaculture
also comes to us with a
great deal of practical Demonstration
experience in building and Farm
managing closed, aquatic Blountstown
Please join us in Aquaculture:
welcoming both of these What's It All About?
new members to the team Beginning aquaculturists
in Ruskin. won'twantto miss ourall-day
introductory workshop on
Travis Carpenter Saturday, May 15. Spon-
Leaving USDA scored by the Tri-StateAquac-
Wildlife Service culture Committee, this event
Travis Carpenter, wildlife will cover varietyoftopics rel-
biologist for USDAs Wildlife evant to aquaculturists from
Service, has taken a position the tri state area including:
with the US Fish and Wild- fish species overview,
life Service in Mississippi. production systems and
Bernice Constantine, infrastructure,
director for Wildlife Ser- marketing,
vices has assured us that economics,
he plans to fill the position, water quality,
but there may be a tempo- fish health,
rary time between Travis' nutrition and feeding,
departure and a suitable information sources, and
replacement. regulations for Florida, Geor-
Travis has not only been gia and Alabama.
extremely responsive to Space is limited and reg-
any requests for assis- istration is on a first-come,
tance, but a real team first-served basis. Payment
player at the Tropical must be received no later
Aquaculture Laboratory. than April 23, and no regis-
Wewish himthe best in his trations will be taken at the
new job. door. Call for more informa-
Craig Watson tion or a registration form.
813/671-5230 Lunch and refreshments
aW will be provided. Cost is $30
per person for the entire
Debbie Britt

Go),/ Wllh tanks at the MitchellAquaculture Demonstration Fann.

Submitting A Sample for Fish Kill


R.W Rottmann, R. Francis-Floyd, PA. Reed and R. Durborow

Fish kills occur both in natural popula-
tion and under aquaculture conditions.
When fish kills or disease outbreaks
occuron a fish farm orprivate pond orlake,
it is usually an emergency situation. To
optimize the response to a fish kill, pro-
ducers should be prepared in advance.

How can I determine if I have a water
quality problem?
Poor water quality can cause massive fish kills
and is often a major factor contributing to fish
disease and parasite infections.
Water quality does not remain constant. In
ponds, it can change dramatically over a few hours.
Even water from deep wells and springs can change
over time.
Commercial fish farmers should not rely on
diagnostic laboratory results to identify water qual-
ity problems. It's extremely important and cost
effective to have a water quality test kit, know how
to use it, and be able to interpret the results.
Water quality should be monitored routinely to
identify problems before fish kills occur. In addition,
anytime fish appear stressed or fish mortalities are
observed, water quality should be evaluated
immediately fortemperature, dissolved oxygen, total
ammonia, pH, and nitrite. Other tests may be
appropriate depending on results of the initial

What type of sample should be
submitted for evaluation?

In most instances live, sick fish and a water
sample are required to have a high probability of de-
termining the cause of a fish kill. An excellent sample
would include several (three to six) live fish that
exhibit obvious physical signs of diseases such as:

* open sores;
* yellowish or light-colored, slightly eroded
areas on the body, fins, gills, or in the mouth;
* swollen, fused, or clubbed gills; or
* eroded or bloody fins.

An excellent sample would also include fish ex-
hibiting abnormal or unusual behavior such as ly-
ing listlessly in shallow water or at the water sur-
face or swimming erratically or in circles. Recently
dead fish that have gills, eyes, color and mucus
that still appear as those of live fish are a fair sample,
if live sick fish are unavailable. Dead fish that have
floated to the surface of a pond are useless for di-
agnostic purposes. It's difficult to tell if the bacteria
found in the dead fish were responsible for its dis-
ease condition.
A water sample without fish is usually of little
value in determining the cause of a fish kill. Some-

times, however, toxic fish waste products such as am-
monia and nitrite are responsible for the death of the
fish. Toxic chemicals entering ponds from outside
sources may be the cause offish mortalities. Therefore,
a water sample should be submitted to the diagnostic
laboratory along with the fish sample.
Special sampling and handling procedures may need

How can I be

prepared for a fish

kill or disease


To minimize fish losses, the
following preparations should be

Have a water quality test kit and know how
to use it;
Know the telephone number and address
ofthe fish disease diagnostic laboratory in your
Call the laboratory and inquire as to how
they prefer samples be shipped, and what days
and times samples can be delivered;
Know how to collect appropriate samples;
Have the type of containers) needed to ship
samples; and
Determine the best method of transporta-
tion (personal delivery, bus, air freight, over-
night express) and schedule that will ensure
prompt delivery.

to be taken if a toxic substance is suspected in a fish kill.
In many states, very specific instructions must be
followed if any legal action is to be taken. Request
approved procedures from the diagnostic laboratory in
yourarea (see list on page 8) before collecting samples.

What is the best method to collect sick fish?
The best method for collecting sick fish is to walkthe
pond bank with a dip net or cast net and selectively
remove fish which are atthe surface, at the water's edge,
or otherwise appear abnormal.
It may take extra effort to find and catch sick fish in
this manner, but the quality of the resulting information
will be well worth it. A random sample of fish taken from
a seine has a poor probability of identifying the cause of
the fish loss, because many of the fish in the pond may
be healthy.

The worst way to collect sick fish is by hook
and line. Sick fish usually do not eat; the
healthiest fish in the pond will still be actively
feeding. Therefore, the use of a rod and reel
to collect fish will result in a sample of little or
no diagnostic value.

How many fish and how much
water should be included in the
Ideally, a minimum of three to six sick fish
should be submitted for examination. If only
one fish is submitted, it is possible that an
inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis will result;
one fish is usually not completely representa-
tive of a population. Most fish disease
outbreaks involve more than one problem.
Therefore, a representative sample is essen-
tial for good management decisions.
In ponds larger than one surface acre, a
minimum oftwo one-pintwatersamples should
be collected from opposite ends of the pond
for analysis. Dissolved oxygen should be
checked at the pond bank; this parameter can-
not be accurately measured in the laboratory.
*Note: Do not combine fish and water in
the same container.

What containers are best for
shipping samples to a diagnostic

Ideally, sick fish should be transported live.
If the diagnostic lab is within an hour's drive,
sick fish can be transported in a container of
Sickfish can also be shipped live in a plastic
bag with water and oxygen for several hours.
The bag is sealed and is placed into an
insulated shipping box with ice to keep water
temperature cool.
For longer shipping times, sick fish or fish
that have just died should be wrapped in a
moist papertowel, placed in a plastic bag (with-
out water), and transported on crushed ice in
a cooler or styrofoam lined shipping box. A
sample handled in this manner should be of
diagnostic value for up to 48 hours. Sick or
recently dead fish can be frozen and used for
bacterial cultures but are of little value for para-
site identification on skin, fins, and gills.
Water samples can be collected in any
clean glass or plastic jugs or jars. The water
sample, of at least a pint in volume, should
be transported on ice with the fish sample. As
previously mentioned, special instructions
must be followed in cases where a toxic sub-
stance may be involved.
(continued on page 8)

Calendar of Events

March 25
Annual Hard Clam Meeting
Holiday Inn West/ Gainesville, FL
The UF/IFAS Aquatic Food Products Labo-
ratory will be hosting this year's meeting.
Product quality and quality assurance will
be majortopics. Marketing ideas will also be
discussed. Meeting starts at 10 a.m.
Leslie Sturmer 352/543-5057

March 25
BMP SubcommeeMeeting-Food Fish
Center for Aquatic And Invasive Plants;
Dept of Fisheries and Aquatic Plants
(Conference Room)/ Gainesville, FL
Best Management Practices for the food fish
commodity group will be discussed and
considered for inclusion in the permitting and
regulatory BMPs that will ultimately be used for
the industry. If you can't make the meeting, call
with ideas or comments. 10 am 2 pm
Andy Lazur 850/674-3184

March 26
BMPSubcommittee Meeting -Bivalves
DEP Field Station/ Cedar Key, FL
The development of Best Management Prac-
tices for bivalves will be developed for inclu-
sion in the final permitting and regulatory
BMPs for the entire bivalve industry. If you
can't make the meeting, call with ideas, ques-
tions or comments. Feel free to contact me
for future meeting dates. Starts at 10 a.m.
Leslie Sturmer 352/543-5057

May 13
Pond Management Field Day
Sumner's Ranch/ Lakeland, FL
Basic pond management field day to high-
light pond maintenance, fishery manage-
ment, aquatic plant management, and water
quality held at a pond site. Program be-
gins at 1:30 p.m. Cost: $ 5 to cover cost of
printed materials and notebook. Pre-registra-
tion required. Details and directions to ranch
are available. Contact:
John Brenneman 941/533-0765

May 15
"Aquaculture: What's tAllAbout?"
UF MitchellAquaculture Farm/ Blountstown, FL
This is an introductory workshop that cov-
ers a fish species overview, production sys-
tems and infrastructure, marketing, econom-
ics, water quality, fish health, nutrition and
feeding, regulations for Alabama, Georgia
and Florida, and information sources.
Advanced registration is required, and the
deadline is April 23. Space is limited. Cost is
$30 per person. Lunch and refreshments
provided. 9 am- 4 pm.
Debbie Britt 850/674-3184

May 17-20
Aquatic Weed Control, Aquatic Plant
Culture andRevegetation Short Course
UF/IFAS Research and Education Center
Ft Lauderdale Marriot North, Ft Lauderdale, FL
This short course will provide participants
with training and advanced research updates in
aquatic plant culture and new techniques for
aquatic plant propagation; revegetation; aquatic
weed and aquatic plant ID and biology; biologi-
cal weed control techniques, herbicide applica-
tion and technology; herbicide characteristics
and regulatory information.
Continuing Education Units (CEU's) may be
earned in such categories as aquatic pest control,
right of way, CORE, ornamental and turf.
Vernon Vandiver, Jr. 954/475-8990

May 17-28
Diseases of Warm Water Fish
Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory/ Ruskin, FL
and Whitney Marine Laboratory/ St. Augustine, FL
This is a two week course short course to
provide instruction in the diagnosis and treatment
of parasitic, bacterial, fungal, viral, nutritional and
environmental diseases of warmwater food fish
and aquarium species. Recommended for vet-
erinarians, professional biologists, aquarists and
aquaculturalists, the class is internationally at-
tended and generally fills quickly.
The first week will be taught at theTropical
Aquaculture Laboratory and the second week
will be held at the Whitney Laboratory in St.
Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd 352/392-9617 ext 229

Free Water e

Analysis for

Shrimp Farming

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
is performing a limited number of water qual-
ity analyses, at no cost, to individuals or busi-
nesses located in various areas around the
state of Florida. The information gathered
through this water testing program will
determine the suitability of those sites for
shrimp culture using freshwater.
Water samples will be analyzed for a se-
ries of physical and chemical parameters and
will also be used to conduct a bioassay with
the Pacificwhite shrimp, Penaeus vannamei,
to determine if shrimp survive in the water
sample. Water analyses will be completed

Shrimp Framing Opportunities in
Florida -1999 Workshop Lecture
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institu-
tion is presenting four one-day work-
shops on shrimp aquaculture opportu-
nities forAquaculture Producers, Agri-
culture Growers and Ranchers, and
Business Entrepreneurs. For the past
three years, HBOI has been design-
ing and testing new culture technolo-
gies for farming marine shrimp in
recirculating systems using freshwater.
Workshops are sponsored by the
Florida State Department ofAgriculture
and Consumer Services. Dates and
locations are as follows:

March 5
March 20
April 9
June 18

Registration is limited. Contact
HBOI Aquaculture Division
5600 U.S. 1 North
Ft. Pierce. FL 34946
561/465-2400 ext. 400
E-mail: aqua@hboi.edu

Fort Pierce, FL
Ruskin, FL
Port Charlotte, FL
Fort Pierce, FL


for locations around the state to identify
the areas that are suitable for shrimp
This work is supported by a grant from
the Department of Agriculture and Con-
sumer Services entitled "Farming Marine
Shrimp in Freshwater Systems: An Eco-
nomic Development Strategy for Florida".
For more information on water analysis,
Dr. John Scarpa
(561) 465-2400 ext. 404
E-mail: aqua@hboi.edu

Continued from page 6

What information should be
provided with the samples?

The following information should be in-
cluded with each sample submitted to a fish
disease laboratory:

*Name, address, and phone number of the
owner of the fish.
*Name or designation of pond or tank from
which fish were removed (Note: Fish col-
lected from different ponds or tanks should
be labeled and shipped in separate contain-
ers and accompanied by a water sample from
each unit).
* Dimensions of pond/tank, including depth.
* Species, number and average size of fish
* Date when fish were last stocked (include
number, species, and size stocked).
* Amount fed per day (Are fish still eating? if
not, when did they stop eating?).
* Date when mortalities were first noticed.
* Number of fish that have died per day since
mortalities were first noticed.
* The most recent treatment used, including
treatment date and amount of chemical used.
* Condition of the plankton bloom, deter-
mined by the maximum depth that a pie plate
attached to a yardstick can be seen.
*Any water quality data collected by the

What steps can be taken to control
losses while awaiting results?

Fish Health Diagnostic
Laboratories in Florida

UF/IFAS Department of Fisheries
and Aquatic Sciences
7922 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653-3071
Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd
352/392-9617 ext 229

Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory
1408 24th Street SE
Ruskin, FL 33570
Dr. Roy Yanong

Sam Mitchell Aquaculture Farm
Route 2 Box 754
Blountstown, FL 32424
Debbie Britt

Individual laboratories vary in the time period re-
quired to process the sample and communicate

the results to the producers. In most cases, water
quality data and results of the necropsy and para-
sitology examination should be available within
24 hours of receipt of the fish.
Depending on circumstances and the degree
of fish loss, a preliminary assessment may be
made at that time.
Microbiology (bacterial isolation and sensitiv-
ity), virology (identification of virus), and histopa-
thology (microscopic examination of specially
prepared tissues) take more time. Bacterial iso-
lation and sensitivity are usually complete within
48 to 96 hours, but virology and histopathology
may take one to two weeks for completion.
The best approach is to improve water qual-
ity while waiting for diagnostic results. Increased
aeration and a fresh water flush can help allevi-
ate many problems.

Fish kills occur both in natural populations
and under aquaculture conditions, In aquac-
ulture facilities, good management and nutri-
tion practices, however, can help prevent fish
kills. When fish kills do occur on a fish farm
or private pond or lake, it is usually an emer-
gency situation.
To optimize the response to a fish kill, pro-
ducers must be prepared to checkwater qual-
ity parameters, obtain a proper fish and water
sample, and transport them as quickly as pos-
sible to a diagnostic laboratory. While waiting
for diagnostic results, the best approach is to
improve water quality.

For a free subscription to WaterWorks please complete the following form' t FLORID A
and send it to the address below. FLORIDA
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Department of Fisheries andAquatic Sciences
PLEASE Check One:
The Institute ofFoodandAgricultural
Please add my name to your mailing list. Sciences is an Equal Employment
Opportunity A. n1 i.a..1, i Action
Please remove my name from your mailing list. Employer authorized to provide
research, educational information
Name andotherservices only to individuals
and institutions thatfunction without
Address regard to race, color, sex, age,
handicap or national origin.
Inclusion ofmaterial in this newsletter
does not constitute endorsement, nor
Copy or clip out order form and send to: does exclusion represent censure of
Amy Richard Editor/ WaterWorks ai item, organization, individual, or
University of Florida institution by the University of
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Florida/Institute of Food and
PO Box 110600 Agricultural Sciences.
Gainesville, FL 32611-0600
Phone: 352/392-9617ext.277 Fax:352/846-1088 E-mail: arich@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs