Introducing Titan Maxx TM
A Game-Changer for Bass Aquaculture: Red Hills Fishery and CAT's Largemouth Bass Breakthrough
Richard L. Fisher, CEO of Red Hills Fishery, LLC, and The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) are excited to unveil a significant discovery - the identification of multiple, naturally occurring genetic indicators that predict the growth of Florida strain Largemouth bass to trophy size. This breakthrough, resulting from the analysis of millions of genomic markers, signifies a remarkable achievement in global sportfish research.
Through this joint effort, Red Hills Fishery has unlocked the potential of these innate genetic markers, paving the way for the breeding of a groundbreaking line of TITAN MAXX™ fingerlings. These fingerlings are bred from parent fish carrying a significant number of the newly discovered trophy DNA markers, ensuring the passage of these markers to their offspring. This approach represents a noteworthy advancement in managing trophy-sized Largemouth bass populations in both private and public (federal/state) waters.
With technical support from CAT, renowned experts in genetic services for aquaculture, Red Hills can now also identify which existing bass carry the markers. This is accomplished through the analysis of a small tissue sample taken from any existing Florida strain Largemouth bass now living in either private or public waters. This innovative technique introduces fresh possibilities for conserving and managing bass populations.
"The unveiling of this remarkable discovery is a testament to Red Hills’ continuing dedication to advancing the field of Largemouth bass aquaculture, " stated Paul Tudor Jones II, owner of Red Hills Fishery, LLC. "The identification of the natural genetic markers, which drive the growth of Florida strain Largemouth bass to trophy size, revolutionizes Red Hills’ existing breeding program; it also further solidifies the bridge between science and bass conservation, all the while paving the way for further growth enhancement across a myriad of bass populations."
“It is exciting to see the results of this genomic study so rapidly become commercially available, holistically improving the bass genetics available for recreational bass stocking,” said John Buchanan, CEO of CAT.
Integrating these breakthrough findings with Red Hills' proven family-based breeding program also propels enhancement in the performance of both TITAN BASS® and TITAN MAXX™ bass in ways previously unexplored. This accomplishment reflects the commitment of Red Hills Fishery and The Center for Aquaculture Technologies to advancing aquaculture practices and revolutionizing the genetics of trophy-size Largemouth bass.
About Red Hills Fishery, LLC: Red Hills Fishery, based in Boston, GA is known for “Breaking Bass Barriers”. The Company is the most scientifically sophisticated private bass hatchery in the United States. With a total of 14,000 square feet of research and production space under roof, Red Hills conducts leading edge research on both Florida and Northern strain Largemouth bass using Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and AI technology. Spawning two times a year, both TITAN BASS ® and TITAN MAXX™ bass are bred and raised in Red Hills’ state-of-the art Recirculating Aquaculture Facility (RAS), and are sold to a selected group of lake and pond management consultants who are licensed to re-sell them.
The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT) drives breakthroughs in aquaculture and its allied sectors through specialized expertise in genetics, health, and nutrition. CAT's international capabilities combine deep expertise in aquaculture and fisheries, molecular research, and tank-based testing, enabling them to provide innovative, research-driven solutions which enhance productivity, efficiency, and sustainability in aquaculture.
What is different about the genetics of TITAN Bass ®?
Red Hills’ unique approach to pedigreed breeding (sometimes referred to as family based breeding) scientifically examines the characteristics of many families of brood stock to identify those brooders possessing superior genetic potential. With each successive breeding generation, the elite brood stock selected pass on enhanced genetics targeted at higher performing annual growth rates and size. That is, the genetic potential of the entire brood stock population is increased in a sustainable and predictable manner. Accordingly, Red Hills expects to see 10%-15% increases in growth rate within successive generations of TITAN Bass®.
This is to be contrasted with many of today’s selective breeding approaches which focus on the physical characteristics of a few individual bass (which could, in and of itself simply be “outliers” arising within an otherwise poor performing family). In a word, such approaches focus on a BIG plus BIG equals BIGGER notion. Because those breeding methods do not trace the genetics or performance of entire families of brood stock, their progeny are far less predictable in terms of performance, and the reproduction of superior traits is far less replicable.
On the other hand, the complex scientific protocols that Red Hills employs allows it to breed TITAN Bass® with a high level of genetic replicability, diminishing the “random”, non-replicable results that are associated with many of today’s selective breeding techniques. The result is a program that ratchets up overall family performance with every new generation of the breeding program, and results in consistently high performance across the entire population of bass stocked in ponds.
As previously noted, Red Hills’ pedigreed breeding processes are designed and revised each year based on what scientifically based growth data directs, based on performance of the progeny of Red Hills’ brood stock families…optimized pairings of next generation brood stock are accordingly made to maximize genetic improvement with each successive generation of TITAN Bass® bred. It bears repeating once again that although the initial focus of Red Hills is on increased growth rates, its breeding framework can and will be used to improve other traits crucial to bass fishing success, such as large ultimate size, catchability and disease resistance.
Red Hills' TITAN Bass® are bred and their performance measured within a controlled environment that correlates to performance in ponds. This is possible because Red Hills designed, built, and operates within state-of-the art indoor facilities (based in Boston, GA). From both scientific and physical plant standpoints, Red Hills has invested at a scale not ever seen across the private bass breeding landscape.
The organization that consults with Red Hills on its pedigreed breeding protocols is The Center For Aquaculture Technologies (“CAT”). CAT is an internationally renowned firm in the field of aquaculture genetics, as has been instrumental in the success that pedigreed breeding programs have brought to the performance of multiple other species of fish.