Fish Abundance And Distribution Of Three Water Bodies
Fish abundance and distribution of three water bodies namely Onah lake, Anwai river and River Niger at cable point was studied. Fish specimens were collected using gill nets, traps, and hook and line between July-December, 2013.. One thousand four hundred and eighty seven fish specimens were collected and brought to the laboratory at Delta state university for further identification using identification key. The family Mochokidae was the most abundant with 441 individuals from the three sampling stations followed by Cichlidae with 374 individuals. The least represented families were Notopteridae and Dasyatidae with 3 individuals each. On the species level, Oreochromis niloticus had the highest number with 118 individuals followed by Synondontis occeilifer with 104 individuals, while the least representation were Hemichromis bimaculatus and Aechenoglanis biscutatus with 1 individuals each. The rich assemblage of fish species collected indicates that these waterbodies have the potential for fish production if properly managed. It is hoped that the information gathered will be useful for future planning and management of the fisheries resources of Onah lake, Anwai river and River Niger at Cable point
1.1 Background of the Study
Fisheries resources are on the reduction in Nigeria due to over exploitation and inadequate management of her coastal waters (Lawson and Olusanya, 2010). For sustainability of these resources, an adequate knowledge of species composition, relative abundance of her water bodies must be understood and actively pursued (Lawson and Olusanya, 2010).
Different species in a given area is the fundamental unit in which to assess the homogeneity of an environment and community used in conservation studies to determine the sensitivity of the ecosystems and their resident species while rare species is relative to other species in a given community and are usually describe for a single tropic level (Lawson and Olusanya, 2010).
Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural aquatic resources in Marine, Estuarine and Freshwater environments. The freshwater components are within extensive river systems, lakes, flood plans and reservoirs scattered over the entire land surface area of over 4,212, 500ha (Ita, 1993) as cited by (Obasohan and Oransaye, 2006). Nigeria also has (8) coastal states namely; Ogun State, Lagos State, Ondo State, Delta State, Bayelsa State, Akwa-Ibom State and Cross River state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The fish fauna of the Nigerian freshwater system has been the focus of research for quite some time. Some of the researchers are Welman (1984); Banks et al., (1965); Akinyemi (1985); Idodo-umeh (1987) and Ita (1987). These studies concentrated more on rivers, with less attention on the lakes and wet lands yet they produced a variety of reports on the Nigerian Freshwater. Research so far on Nigerian freshwater system has concentrated more on larger water bodies such as River Niger Lake Chad etc. The lesser known water bodies are neglected, yet they contribute significantly to local fish supply. This study therefore seeks to identify the fish species and to ascertain their abundance and distribution in the three selected water bodies.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The general aim of this study is to ascertain the abundance and distribution of fish three water bodies. Hence the specific objectives include;
- Identify the species composition of fishes caught in the three water stations.
- Identify the distribution of fish caught by families.
- Checklist the Fish Families with Species/Genus.
1.4 Research Question
- What are the species composition of fishes You have ever caught?
- What is the distribution percentage of fishes you have caught?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The result of this study will be of immense relevant to farmers specifically fish farmers in Delta state and other part of Nigeria as it will enlighten them on the approaches to the distribution of fish abundance. This study will in no doubt be useful to the body of research in the agricultural discipline as researcher and students will find it useful for research and academic purpose.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study on fish abundance and distribution of three water bodies is limited to identifying the species composition of fishes caught in the three water stations, the distribution of fish caught by families and check listing the Fish Families with Species/Genus. Therefore to achieve the desired result from this study, it will be delimited to Onah lake, Anwai river and River Niger at cable Point, Delta State.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
in the cause of the study the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) Availability of Research Material:
The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
5.1 Summary of Findings
During the period of study fifty one fish species belonging to twenty one families were identified in the three stations. Table 1 shows the list of species composition of fishes caught in the three sampling stations. Table 2 shows the fish distribution by number per family and their percentages (%). These fish families have been observed by many fisheries workers and researchers, who reported these fishes to constitute the major fisheries of the inland waters in Nigeria. This is due to their ability to adapt to various water conditions (Ita et al., 1986; Akinyemi, 1987).
The fish with the highest species distribution and abundance in the three stations is the Mochokidae. The high occurrence of Mochokidae could be due to the environment in which it is found. The cichlid family was the next most abundant family. This is as a result of their ability to utilize a wide range of foods in the lower tropic level as herbivores as well as their fecundity and prolific nature (Akinyemi, 2002). The dominance of the Cichlids in the present study could be attributed to their prolific breeding pattern anh good parental care. This compares favourably with the works of Opa, Osinmo on African reservoir where Cichlids are known to dominate (Komolafe and Adewomo, 2003, 2008 and Balogun, 1986), The Cichlids were the most diversified (9-species) dominated by Oreochromis niloticus. This is in contrast with the work of Kamolefe and Arawomo (2008) on Osinmo Reservoir, Osun State that recorded Cichlids, as the most diversified in Kangimi Lake with 5-species representation. The family Notopteridae, Dasyatida Phractolaemidae and Gymnarchidae were pooly represented.
Most of these species requires high level of water to thrive well. Fig 1 shows the pyramid of pooled numbers per family of fish collected in the three sampling stations. Mochokidae and Cichlidae are shown as the most dominant families.
5.2 Conclusion and Recommendation
The rich assemblage of fish species collected (fishes) indicates that these waterbodies have the potential for fish production if properly managed.
It is hoped that the information gathered will be useful for future planning and management of the fisheries resources of Onah lake, Anwai river and lower River Niger at Cable point.
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