African Zoology

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Invasive alien freshwater fishes in the Wilderness Lakes System, a wetland of international importance in the Western Cape Province, South Africa

A.A. Olds, M.K.S. Smith, O.L.F. Weyl, I.A. Russell


The Wilderness Lakes System incorporates a RAMSAR listed wetland. Previous  ichthyological surveys reported three invasive freshwater fishes; Oreochromis mossambicus (Mozambique tilapia), Gambusia affinis (mosquitofish) and Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass) from this system. To assess the status of these alien fishes, the fish assemblages in the lakes system were sampled with seine nets and fyke nets in 2009 and 2010. A total of 87 893 fish comprising 16 species were caught. In addition to confirming the persistence of O. mossambicus and G. affinis in the system, the current study also reports the presence of a new invader, Cyprinus carpio (common carp). M. salmoides were absent from 2009 and 2010 samples.

Key words: freshwater fish, invasive alien fishes, estuary, RAMSAR site, diversity.
AJOL African Journals Online