Catfish producers in southeast Arkansas are invited to the Southeast Area Catfish Workshop on April 2. Hosted by University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Lake Village Laboratory, the workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Guachoya Cultural Art Center. The center is located at 1652B South Hwy 65 & 82, Lake Village, Ark.

Sessions are intended to assist catfish growers in such areas as diet, catfish farm management and planning.

Speakers will include experts in fish nutrition and aquaculture from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a representative from the state Department of Agriculture and an agronomist from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

“This workshop is designed to provide the most recent information on feeds and costs of catfish farming,” said Carole Engle, director of Aquaculture/Fisheries Center at UAPB and one of the presenters.

“It will also provide hands-on opportunities for farmers to compare management strategies and see how different strategies will affect their costs and cash flow for 2009.”

Engle will talk about the effect of new feed formulations and feeding frequency (daily or every other day) on production costs for catfish grown at different densities.

Ted McNulty, aquaculture coordinator for the state Department of Agriculture will speak on the topic “Feed vouchers: Per ton refund in 2009 as part of the Economic Stimulus Bill.”

Other workshop topics include:

• Commodity price outlook for 2009

• Diet makeovers and fish performance

• Practical strategies to managing catfish farms in difficult times

• Individual assistance in developing a custom plan for your farm

In addition to the presentations, the workshop will feature a question and answer session. The overall goal is to address some of the concerns that have been expressed by area catfish producers, said Larry Dorman, an Extension Fisheries Specialist at UAPB’s Chicot County Cooperative Extension Service Office.

For more information on the workshop, contact Dorman at (870) 265-5440.