The Ovarian Strategy of African Catfish (Osteichthys: Clariidae) Around Niger River Basin in Anambra State, Nigeria
Keywords:Ovary, Clarias gariepinus, breeding season, strategy
The relative effects of breeding season on the condition and spawning potential of ovary of Clarias gariepinus were studied. Specimens were obtained from the lower area of the Niger River basin at Onitsha, and separated into gravid mature and gravid immature groups. Gonad (ovary) and relative size indices of the maturity groups were determined by the gonadosomatic index formula. The rate of development of the organs was determined by adapting methods, and the measurements of developmental rate of fish. Mean values of the indices followed an initial coincident pattern, with a mid-season differential. The gonad index (GI) varied monthly with peaks in May and September. Strong correlation existed between GI and relative size (RS) of the gravid immature group (r = 0.94), and weak correlation between GI and RS of the gravid mature group (r = 0.64). The high relative GI at early part and towards the end of the season possibly indicated that large ova quantity could be spawned at the peak periods. The GI could possibly serve as guide to spawning potentials of the fish species, especially during the artificial breeding.
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