Mixing up an optimal diet for white sturgeon grow-out

The majority of sturgeon feed cost and demand generally occurs during the on-growing portion (>1- year old fish up until sexing) due to the rapid growth rates that occur prior to sexual maturation and the necessity to maintain excess fish inventory until excess male fish can be harvested and processed for meat production. To date, there has been little effort to define nutritional needs for this on-growing portion of sturgeon culture.

This project will apply novel formulation strategies (simplex design methods used by pharmaceutical industries to develop complex formulations for new drug development) to rapidly develop more appropriate diet formulations for on-growing white sturgeon. To accomplish this goal we propose to: 1) first identify the dietary macronutrient (ratios of protein, fat and starch) requirements that support efficient grow-out and nutrient partitioning/utilization and 2) then examine the ability of a variety of ingredient source combinations with the use of amino acid supplementation to meet these needs. 

OBJECTIVES. Our long-term goals are to (1) identify cost-effective diet formulations that support maximal growth, health, and product quality (2) increase the amount of information available to white sturgeon producers and feed manufacturers regarding dietary recommendations. 

Toward these ends, our four-year goals are to: 

(1) Use mixture model design to optimize the combination of macronutrients and alternative ingredients that can meet the production needs of white sturgeon grow-out feeds; 

(2) further refine amino acid balance as a means of reducing interactive growth depressions when novel combinations of ingredients are utilized in white sturgeon; 

(3) compare formulation effects on growth, health, meat product quality and consumer acceptance, and 

(4) develop an integrated outreach program including at least one WRAC Extension publication to meet stakeholders educational needs. 

Project Summary

Duration: 4 years
Funded Date: 09/01/2021
Funding level: $453,921
Location: California - CA, Idaho - ID, Montana - MT
Species: Sturgeon
Topics: Diet and Nutrition, Grow out

University of Washington
School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195
1122 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA 98105


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