Two 12-week feeding experiments were conducted in aquaria with juvenile blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus. In experiment 1, juvenile (6 g) blue catfish were fed one of four isonitrogenous (34% protein) and isocaloric (10.0 kJ of digestible energy/g of diet) diets containing 13, 9, 4, and 0% menhaden fish meal. Soybean meal was added in increasing percentages (48, 55, 62, and 69%) to the respective diets. Fish were fed all they would consume in 40 minutes twice daily (08:00 and 16:00). After 12 weeks, fish fed a diet with 13% fish meal had a significantly higher individual body weight than fish fed any of the other diets. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in body weights of fish fed the other four diets. No significant differences were found in percentage survival, feed conversion ratio, and protein efficiency ratio among treatments. In experiment 2, blue catfish (9 g) were fed one of five isonitrogenous
(35% protein) and isocaloric (10.5 kJ of digestible energy/g of fiet) diets. Diet 1 contained 15% menhaden fish meal and 42% soybean meal. Diets 2-5 contained 0% fish meal and
69% soybean meal with various (0.0, 0.3, 0.6, and 0.9%) percentages of added L-methionine. Fish were fed as in experiment 1. After 12 weeks, individual weight, weight gain, survival, specific growth rate, and feed conversion ratio were not significantly different (P > 0.05) among treatments and averaged 36 g, 302%, 100%, l.6%/day, and 2.4, respectively. Whole-body compositions of fish were not significantly different (P > 0.05) among treatments and averaged 61% and 27% for percentage protein and fat, respectively. These data indicate that soybean meal can totally replace fish meal in a diet for blue catfish without supplemental L-methionine. This may allow producers to feed more economical diets without adverse effects on growth and survival.