The smell of catfish frying wafting over the grounds of Sunbelt Expo always draws a big crowd and this year the Aquaculture Team will have some science-based and practical tips on producing and processing commercial and recreational aquaculture crops.

A sampling of fried catfish will be available from the Southeastern Catfish Growers and in cooperation with the host universities. The deep fried, distinctively Southern delicacy always draws a crowd to the Expo Aquaculture exhibit.

Fish ponds at the Aquaculture Center will provide an opportunity for anglers young and old to see up-close-and-personal how to manage a recreation pond and how to catch fish.

In addition to the hands-on activities available at the Sunbelt Aquaculture Center, visitors will have an opportunity to attend a series of timely and informational seminars, presented by aquaculture scientists from around the Southeast.

The seminar schedule gets started on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 10 a.m. with a presentation by University of Florida Scientist Chuck Cichra. He is an expert in the area of recreational pond management and his presentation is entitled, “Managing Ponds for Great Fishing.”

One of the highlights of the annual aquaculture seminars is a presentation by former head of Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture, John Jensen. At 11 a.m., Jensen will demonstrate and explain how to filet fish. Jensen, who coordinates the Sunbelt Aquaculture Program, has literally caught, processed and cooked fish all over the world, and his presentation always draws a full house at the Expo.

At noon on the first day of Sunbelt Expo, University of Georgia Aquaculturist Gary Burtle will discuss some ways to make a profit from farm ponds. One of the fastest growing business segments of agriculture is eco-agriculture and many farm tours include fishing on farm ponds, making Burtle’s presentation among the best attended at Sunbelt Expo.

The afternoon seminar session will begin at 1 p.m. with a presentation on pond weed management by Auburn University Researcher Claude Reeves. The Auburn scientists practiced what he preaches for more than 25 years of helping manage Auburn University’s aquaculture ponds near the Auburn University campus.

David Cline, Auburn University aquaculturist, will close the first day’s seminar program at 2 p.m.,with a presentation entitled, “Aquaculture: What Is It? Is It Important?  Why Should I Care?”