The status and future of the Lake Naivasha fishery, Kenya
Harper, David M.
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Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake situated in the eastern rift valley of Kenya. Only five species of fish are present, all of which have been introduced. They are Oreochromis leucostictus, Tilapia zillii, Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass), Barbus amphigramma and Poecilia reticulata (guppy). The first three of these form the basis of an important gill net fishery and bass are also taken by rod and line for sport. Barbus are occasionally caught by dip net. Actual and potential yields for the Lake Naivasha fishery are discussed and the fishery is shown to be under-performing. The feeding regimes of the commercially exploited fish were examined in the context of available food supply, in particular the benthic fauna. Small bass depend heavily on Micronecta and large bass mostly take crayfish. Detritus predominates in the diet of Oreochromis leucostictus and Tilapia zillii but the former also eats algae and the latter, Micronecta and macrophyte. Various food resources, especially the benthos, appear to be under-utilized and so it is possible that further species could be introduced to enhance the commercial fishery.