Catfish Fries Management: 5 Ultimate Steps for Maximum Results

Catfish Fries Management

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Despite the huge returns on investment, catfish business has its challenges. In today’s post, we have decided to look at catfish fries management which happens to be the most important stage in catfish farming.

A lot of fish farmers prefer to stock their ponds with fingerlings and post-fingerlings due to what they consider as difficulties coping with fries.

Many believe that fry management is the most difficult aspect of catfish farming but in actual sense, it is the easiest. What many farmers lack is strategies on how to manage the fish at this stage.

Before we process, let’s first understand the meaning of catfish fries.

Meaning of Fries

The word catfish fry or fries is used to describe newly hatched catfish that are raised in hatcheries for a period of time before being transferred to bigger ponds.

They are newly hatched catfish between 7-10 days. It takes a process of 7 to 10 days. Some call the fries baby fish because of how small and delicate they are at that early stage. In the beginning stage, they need special care and good feed to survive.

Once the fries have grown, they are sorted into grow-out ponds as fingerlings. Though the fingerlings are still relatively small but still need continuous monitoring.

Management Strategies for Catfish Fries

To prevent catfish fry mortality, it is important to understand various strategies to handle them. Below are some of the ways to manage these fries:

1. Set up the hatchery: This is the first stage of the effective management of catfish fries. To get maximum results in this line of business, the hatchery must be with appropriate equipment such as good brood stock, a weighing scale, synthetic hormone, syringe, spawning net, plastic spoon, saline solution, and knife/razor blade.

2. Good water quality: Regularly test the water to find out the temperature, pH, oxygen levels, and ammonia concentrations. Poor water quality can cause stress or disease that could lead to mortality.

The secret to getting it right at this stage is to have water continuously flowing in and out of the hatchery. The essence of this is to keep the water clean, have good oxygen levels, and prevent any contamination.

3. Do not feed on the first day: One of the reasons newly hatched fries die is due to feeding on the first day. When the fish are newly hatched, they come with a whitish sack under their belly. That transparent sack is the food that will sustain them for another 24 hours.

I believe you must have noticed such transparent sacks without knowing what they are for. So, feeding them when the sack is still visible is overfeeding.

Overfeeding is one of the major causes of catfish fry mortality. So, until the sack disappears, do not feed them.

4. Feeding: Catfish fries are fed small amounts of quality feed several times a day. Unlike fingerlings or juveniles that can be fed twice daily, fries need to be fed at intervals.

Remember that feeding starts between 24-48 hours after you must have noticed that the whitish sack on their belly has disappeared.

Their feed must be nutritionally balanced and contain high levels of protein to support their growth. One can learn how to make catfish feed at home to reduce the cost of purchasing foreign feeds.

5. Keep the environment free from predators: For effective management of catfish fries, the hatchery environment must be clean and free of predators.

Fish fries are vulnerable to predators such as lizards, birds, snakes, frogs, etc. Therefore, it is essential to net the pond to ward off these predators from accessing the fries.

Bonus Tips on Water Management

  1. Do not allow the water to flow fast inside the pond/hatchery. It must flow gradually.
  2. Just like point number 1, water going out of the hatchery must move out slowly.
  3. This is done by regulating the water inflow and outflow by reducing the pressure, hence the reason for the 12 hours of water change.
  4. Too much pressure from water inflow and outflow will kill the fries.
  5. Feed at least twice daily.
  6. Always cover the hatchery/pond with a net to avoid predators.
  7. Also, avoid direct sunlight from going into the pond. It could cause blindness or heat up the water temperature


Many think that fry management is the most difficult aspect of catfish farming but in actual sense, it is the easiest. All you have to do to ensure the newly hatched catfish survive is to follow the steps outlined in this post.

2 responses to “Catfish Fries Management: 5 Ultimate Steps for Maximum Results”

  1. Umar Muhammad says:

    Thanks a lot. Very interesting

  2. Fidelis Agbahi says:

    Thank you for sharing this information.

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