Just read a Farm Show article (Vol 35, no 5, 2011) called "Indianans develop a taste for freshwater shrimp." Keith and Katrina Henderson have 5 shrimp ponds, which they just introduced crabs to this year. Each pond gets 300-450 lbs shrimp per year (sold at $12/lb!) They put juvenile shrimp in each June, stocking about 10,000 per pond (high mortality). They feed, and monitor the pond's pH, temperature, and oxygen levels daily. Over Labor Day weekend, they drain the ponds, and the shrimp have grown to 12 per lb. They harvest then to avoid a possible frost. Freshwater shrimp have a lobster texture, and many who are allergic to marine shrimp can eat these. They have to make sure the aerators run constantly, and they have to trap some predators, like turtles and frogs.
A buddy of mine was instrumental in setting up (one of?) the first shrimp farm in this area about eight years ago. I know it wasn't the same location because the farm he helped construct used tanks, not dug ponds.
The large freshwater shrim are usually called prawns and are a common ingredient in many Asian cooking styles. They are also quite popular in Australia. remember one thing though; they are pretty tasteless when boiled. they are better fried or grilled. When they are used for soup in Asian cooking they are added in at the last minute and the fire turned low so they won't lose their taste.
Sounds like their pH tolerance is pretty high (7-9). I'd like to see if I could use a couple of EPDM shallow ponds and try it as an aquaculture system with just a bit of aeration help. If they grew well, it would be interesting to see what kind of saltwater tank setup is necessary to keep a few adults to breed (if it is at all possible).
"Limitation is the mother of good management", Michael Evanari
Location: Southwestern Oregon (Jackson County), Zone 7
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