The mission of the Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center is to conduct aquaculture research to address the highest priority needs of the U.S. aquaculture industry. The Center’s research program is composed of in-house research projects in Stuttgart, Arkansas. The Center’s research programs focus primarily in two areas: 1) Freshwater Systems Production Research, including development of feeds and improved culture strategies for warmwater fish species, such as hybrid striped bass, channel catfish, and hybrid catfish; and, 2) Disease Therapeutics Evaluation and Control Research for warmwater fish species, including catfish, trout, tilapia, baitfish, hybrid catfish and hybrid striped bass.
The Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center, was formally the Fish Farming Experimental Laboratory (FFEL)of the National Biological Services, U.S. Department of Interior until transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1996 as a part of the Farm Bill. The station was established in 1958 in response to the Fish Rice Rotation Act (Public Law 85-342) which directed the Secretary of the Interior to develop a program of research and experimentation to solve problems related to the production and harvest of warmwater fish.
Research facilities include a 18,000 sq ft bench research laboratory completed in 1992. About 60% of the floor space is devoted to research activities in fish diseases, nutrition and feeds development, chemical registration, and water quality management/production systems. Support functions include a technical library with computerized information retrieval capabilities, glassware washing and storage, chemical storage, and several special equipment rooms. The remaining 40% of the space houses administrative activities that are essential to provide support for the research staff and information to the aquaculture user group. The building includes space for computerized information retrieval and conference areas. Supporting facilities include a paved parking lot for the projected increase in user group visits, and for the staff, a renovated septic system for domestic waste, a rehabilitated dry well system for laboratory sink waste, and filters/piping for necessary upgrading of the wet laboratory water supplies.
Other laboratory research facilities include a 3,700 sq ft wet laboratory equipped with 72 aquaria and numerous tanks and troughs capable of being supplied with several temperatures of well water and pond water. Back-up generators serve the life support systems and a recently completed rehabilitation of the auxiliary laboratory (2,100 sq ft) has resulted in a research facility equipped with grinder, crumblers, screener, and pellet mills for the manufacture of hard pellet and moist pellet fish feed. This building has a remodeled fish disease research wet laboratory with an adjacent laboratory equipped with hoods and other equipment essential for fish disease research.
A newly completed 8,000 sq ft tank farm equipped with 120 4-foot diameter fiberglass fish holding tanks. Each unit is supplied with well water and filtered pond water, aeration and auxiliary electrical power for research equipment. Emergency electrical power serves the aeration and water supply life support system.
There are 36 0.1-acre, 36 0.25-acre and nine 1.0-acre research type earthen ponds, and two 1.5-acre earthen raceways, one 3-acre "holding" pond and a 27-acre water storage reservoir. The ponds and wet laboratories can be discharged into the 27-acre reservoir thus enabling the on-site management of exotic fishes, chemicals and drugs. Water for the research ponds and wet laboratories is obtained from 3 deep wells with a total capacity exceeding 1,000 gallons per minute.
Other buildings located on the 85-acre Stuttgart, AR, site include a mechanical shop and equipment fabrication building (1,700 sq ft), personnel support building (3,700 sq ft), plumbing and metal fabrication building (600 sq ft), water filtration and purification plant (160 sq ft), general storage building (3,000 sq ft) and an vehicle storage building (1,800 sq ft).