Effects of Fish Cage Culture on Water and Sediment Quality in the Gorge Area of Lake Volta in Ghana: A Case Study of Lee Fish Cage Farm
The study determined the impacts of fish cage farming on the gorge area of Lake Volta. Water and sediment samples were collected from six sites in the Lee Cage Farm; four from sections with cages and two from about 1300 m upstream of the farm which served as the control. Water quality variables monitored were pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, nitrate-nitrogen, ammonia-nitrogen, orthophosphate, faecal coliforms and total coliforms. Variables monitored in the sediment were organic matter, total carbon, total nitrogen and total phosphorus. There were variations in water quality between the farmed and control sites but the differences were not significant (p > 0.05). The mean counts of total coliform in the water ranged from 940 - 3318 cfu/100 ml while faecal coliforms ranged from 113 - 552 cfu/100 ml at the farmed site. The mean total coliform count at the control site ranged from 837 - 6960 cfu/100 ml while the faecal coliforms ranged from 48 - 120 cfu/100 ml. Therefore, there was significant variation between the faecal coliforms count at the two sites (p = 0.046). The results suggest that the general microbiological quality of the water at the study area was unacceptable.