Fish Species Composition, Abundance and Diversity of Minor Lakes in South Western Uganda/Kigezi Region
Tibihika, Papius, D. M.
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Fish is one of the commodities that can reduce poverty and malnutrition in Southwestern Uganda. The presence of rich aquatic bodies in this region is a good resource for capture fisheries. The current study investigated fish species composition, abundance and diversity in six lakes, Mutanda, Mulehe, Chahafi, Kayumbu, Bunyonyi and Nakasanda in the region. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected using structured interview questions and various gears, gill nets, hooks, basket traps and beach seine nets. The results showed that, minor lakes in the region had a diverse fish community consisting of 8 species, Small species of Barbus, Clarias carsoni, Cray fish, Haplochromines, Oreochromis leucostictus, Oreochromis niloticus, Clarias gariepinus and Tilapia zilli. Out of these, only three (3), Barbus, Haplochromines and Oreochromis niloticus, appeared in all the lakes. Haplochromines were the most abundant fish species. Nile tilapia was more abundant in Lake Kayumbu. Lake Mutanda had more fish species richness and Lake Nakasanda demonstrated a more species evenness and diversity. The results from the current study, suggest that the minor lakes could serve as important sources of fish for both the riparian communities and the country at large if appropriate management interventions are instituted.