From introduction to fishery dominance: The initial impacts of the invasive carp Cyprinus carpio in Lake Naivasha, Kenya, 1999 to 2006

J. R. Britton, R. R. Boar, J. Grey, J. Foster, J. Lugonzo, D. M. Harper

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Following the accidental introduction of the carp Cyprinus carpio into Lake Naivasha during 1999, a sustainable population became rapidly established and in early 2004 became the principal species exploited in the commercial fishery. Over 9000 kg of carp were harvested from the lake between October 2005 and 2006, when fish were captured between fork lengths (LF) 200 and 800 mm (>8 kg). Diet of carp <100 mm LF was dominated by zooplankton, >100 mm LF there was a shift to benthic macro-invertebrates, with these carp feeding principally upon food resources previously unexploited by the fish community. Contrary to predictions and despite the increasing carp abundance, there has been macrophyte regeneration in littoral areas since 2004. There have been substantial increases in areal cover, with coverage in 2006 at levels not observed since the late 1980s, and significant increases in species richness. Possible reasons for this, and the significance of this carp introduction, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-257
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue numberSD
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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