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|Hatchery Management: Allocating Resources to Maximize Stocking Success
|Presenting Author Name
|Presenting Author Affiliation
|University of Florida
|Presenting Author Email
|freshwater, stocking, management
|Type of Presentation
Management of freshwater recreational fisheries has long used stock enhancement—the addition of hatchery raised fish to wild populations. Effective stocking requires many things, including the efficient allocation of hatchery space. The challenge is that hatchery space is often limited each season, and managers seek to maximize the number of different species, sizes, and even condition of fish raised. Hatchery space, including ponds and raceways, can be filled with a number of different species at various life stages. Each species and life stage requires a certain amount of space for optimal rearing in the hatchery and most species are exclusively reared in ponds. Efficiently delegating space in the hatchery can be optimized by addressing it as a knapsack problem—a combinatorial optimization problem typically addressed via dynamic programming. By understanding the cost to rear each species in terms of space and other resources, the knapsack-problem-program can deliver the solution that will result in the highest hatchery success given the parameters laid out by the state. In Florida, we collaborated with state hatchery and stocking managers and researchers to develop a tool to understand and suggest use of hatchery space to accomplish defined stocking goals each year. This tool illustrates the resource cost of rearing each species requested and could prove useful as it can be adapted to other regions’ or states’ parameters for use in their stocking programs.