Fish species composition, distribution and abundance in Lake Victoria, Kenya and the surrounding dams
and satellite lakes were studied from 1997 to 2001 The study revealed that lake Victoria had a total of 37
species representing ten families. Lates niloticus dominated the catches in terms of ichthyomass in Lake
Victoria while haplochromine cichlids are still the richest in species diversity followed by Barbus. The
haplochromines however showed an upward trend in biomass compared to 1980s.
In the satellite lakes, a total of 28 species belonging to ten families were recorded. Haplochromine cichlids
were the most diverse group followed by Barbus. The endemic, Oreochromis esculentus was the dominant
species among the tilapiines especially in Lake Kanyaboli. Lake Sare had the highest species richness and
In the dams Clarias gariepinus and Oreochromis nilotica was the most widely distributed species while
Barbus had the richest species diversity. The endemic tilapiines, Oreochromis esculentus and O. variabilis
were also recorded in the dams. The fish species assemblage in the dams and the satellite lakes
demonstrates the importance of these water bodies in fish biodiversity conservation.