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Reproductive potential of the Nile perch, Lates niloticus L. and the establishment of the species in Lakes Kyoga and Victoria (East Africa)

Research paper by Richard Ogutu-Ohwayo

Indexed on: 01 May '88Published on: 01 May '88Published in: Hydrobiologia



Abstract

The size at first maturity, sex ratio and fecundity of L. niloticus in Lake Kyoga have been examined, and compared with the situation in other aquatic systems. The species has the ability to reproduce enormously. It produces up to 16 million eggs. In Lake Kyoga, fecundity (F) increases with length (L) in cm according to the equation: % MathType!MTEF!2!1!+-% feaafiart1ev1aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn% hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr% 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq-Jc9% vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0-yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr-x% fr-xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaciOraiaac2% dacaGGGaGaaiinaiaac6cacaGG0aGaai4maiaacAdacaGGGaGaaiiE% aiaacccacaGGXaGaaiimamaaCaaaleqabaGaaiylaiaacAdaaaGcca% GGmbWaaWbaaSqabeaacaGGYaGaaiOlaiaacMdacaGGYaaaaaaa!44D8!\[\operatorname{F} = 4.436 x 10^{ - 6} L^{2.92} \]Information from different habitats shows that females grow to a larger size than males but the growth rate is the same in both sexes. Males mature earlier than females at 50–65 cm total length with females maturing between 60–95 cm. There are about twice as many males as females. The rapid establishment of L. niloticus in Lake Kyoga and the Nyanza Gulf of Lake Victoria following its introduction is attributed to the high reproductive potential of the species under favourable environmental conditions.