Fish Reproduction & Spawning Techniques

The Kentucky State University Aquaculture Program offers a 3-credit-hour Fish Reproduction and Spawning Techniques undergraduate Internet course (AQU 427) and a graduate (AQU 527) Internet course. Dr. Boris Gomelsky teaches the courses. These courses are in a video format. Students see the instructors’ recorded PowerPoint lectures. These lectures are supplemented with corresponding practical demonstration videos.

The graduate-level course (AQU 527) is intended for students who already have or are completing a bachelor’s (or higher) degree. During the course, students take three online tests. Graduate-level students also prepare a review paper directed towards a more detailed examination of reproduction of one specific fish species.

The course presents an overview of the biology of fish reproduction and techniques of artificial spawning for common fish species.

The course consists of three parts, which include 16 lectures (classes):

  • Part I. Biological Basis of Fish Reproduction
    • Class 1. Development of Reproductive System in Fish
    • Class 2. Diversity of Fish Reproduction
  • Part II. Endocrine Control of Fish Reproduction and Artificial Spawning
    • Class 3. Environment and Hormonal Control of Fish Reproduction
    • Class 4. Hormonal Induction of Final Oocyte Maturation, Ovulation and Spermiation
    • Class 5. Induced Spawning
    • Class 6. Early Life History of Fish
    • Class 7. Methods of Fish Breeding and Broodstock Management
    • Class 8. Structure of Fish Spermatozoa and Preservation of Gametes
  • Part III. Spawning Techniques for Common Aquaculture Species
    • Class 9. Paddlefish Hatchery Techniques
    • Class 10. Catfish Hatchery Techniques
    • Class 11. Reproduction of Carps (family Cyprinidae)
    • Class 12. Hatchery Techniques for Production of Striped Bass Hybrids
    • Class 13. Control of Reproduction in Tilapia species
    • Class 14. Reproduction of Sunfishes (family Centrarchidae)
    • Class 15. Temperate Hatchery and Nursery Production of Freshwater Prawns
    • Class 16. Reproduction of Marine Fish

Every lecture is divided into several modules (video segments). Students may view modules on their computers as often as they wish.

The online classes also include practical demonstration videos which show labs and field trips recorded during conventional classroom courses. Online students do not take these labs and do not make these trips. However, the viewing of these practical videos is very informative and important for online students for acquiring practical skills. The classes contain the following demonstration videos:

  • Lab on fish gonad morphology and determination of gonadosomatic index.
  • Lab on localization of germinal vesicles in oocytes.
  • Lab on removal of fish pituitary glands.
  • Artificial spawning of koi.
  • Artificial spawning of paddlefish.
  • Semi-natural spawning of crappie.
  • Hatchery production of hybrid striped bass.
  • Hatchery production of freshwater prawns.

Who may take Fish Reproduction Online?

Anyone who:

  • Wants to add a course in fish reproduction into his/her present university curriculum.
  • Already has a degree in biology or in some other area and is interested in aquaculture or fisheries.
  • Wants to get credit hours without attending a traditional classroom.
  • Presently works in aquaculture or fisheries areas and needs knowledge of fish reproduction and spawning techniques for his/her professional development.


Boris Gomelsky

Dr. Boris Gomelsky is the instructor of the courses. Dr. Steven Mims and Mr. Shawn Coyle are guest lecturers.

Why take an Internet course?

An online course is perfect for persons who have limited time, and may not be able to attend class at a particular hour. Also, Web courses provide subject matter that may not be available at a nearby school. Specifically, people working with fish who need to manage, control and treat water quality, and anyone who just needs or wants college credit at the undergraduate or graduate level are welcomed to enroll.

Any prerequisites?

Student should receive consent of instructor for acceptance into the course.


Students are encouraged to contact Dr. Gomelsky via email at to receive consent for acceptance into the course and instructions for registration.

Is a textbook required?

The course instructor recommends the textbook Aquaculture Production Systems, edited by James H. Tidwell. This text is required for all graduate level students and only recommended for undergraduate students. The text book can be purchased from

Why Fish Reproduction online?

Fisheries, Aquatic Sciences, or Aquaculture programs offered by many universities may not include a specialized course in fish reproduction and spawning techniques.

This online course  presents an overview of fish reproduction and spawning techniques. Emphasis is on practical applications for aquaculture and fisheries management.

What about tuition and fees?

Fall 2014 tuition:

  • Undergraduate (AQU 407): $1,110
  • Graduate (AQU 507): $1,359

Tuition and fees subject to change.