Thursday, April 11, 2013

Biannual (February 2013) Kavango Biological Survey Data Available

Kavango river in Namibia


By:    Celestino Ferreira – FRT
          Victoria Mumba – FRT
          Noa Shapumba – FRT 

1. Introduction
The Kavango River (sometimes referred to as the Okavango River) originates from the Angolan highlands south of Nova Lisboa (now referred to as Huambo in the Huambo Province) and flows eastwards to form a border between Angola and Namibia, traverses the Caprivi Strip and eventually spills out into the Okavango Delta in Botswana (MFMR, 1995).Namibia is generally a very arid to semi-arid country with limited freshwater resources. However, the Northeast part of Namibia is characterised by a presence of perennial rivers systems such as the Kavango River and other Rivers such as the Zambezi, Kwando and Chobe.
The Kavango River as a system is more than just a source of fresh water for human consumption in that it is also an important habitat for abundant freshwater fish resources. The Okavango floodplain system in Namibia consists of the main river, standing backwaters, swamps and floodplains covered by water seasonally. This time of the year is considered to be the time when the floods are at their peak. High water levels are known to cause low catches by fisherfolks. This also causes water quality parameters to be slightly lower than during the dry season. Hence, low CPUE and low readings on water quality parameters due to the dilution factor.

2. Objectives
To collect time series data on fish biology, and fish dynamics of the Fishery. Putting into consideration also the water quality parameters (Environmental factors) that can be recorded.

3. Study area
The study area included five different stations along the Kavango River. Stations included Kwetze, Cuito, Musese, Nkurenkuru and Rundu.

4. Methods and Materials
4.1 Water quality monitoring
Monitoring of water quality parameters was done at all the sampling stations visited during the survey. DO, TDS, Salinity, Conductivity, pH, Water Temperature were measured using HACH HQd multimeter. Recording was done 3 to 4 times per station and the mean was used as the final result. Data was recorded on specially adapted field forms for water quality monitoring form for KIFI. Data was entered and analysed in Microsoft Excel for.

4.2 Fish sampling and data collection
Fish sampling was done at Kwetze, Cuito, Rundu, Musese and Nkurenkuru. Gillnets were the sole sampling gears at all the stations and effort was kept at six gillnets per stations and spread over three nights meaning two gillnets were put out per night.Each gillnet was mounted with eleven panels of different sizes. The different panels were of size 12”, 16”, 22 28”, 35”, 45”, 57”, 73”, 93”, 118”, 150” which were randomly attached. Data was entered and analysed in using Pasgear 2.

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