Morpho - meristic analysis and the identity of the moon fish, Citharinus distichodoides (Pisces: Citharinidae) of Lake Oguta Nigeria: Towards a restocking programme for a depleted inland fishery
The Citharinid fishery of Lake Oguta, the largest lentic natural water body in South Eastern Nigeria is biologically and economically over fished. Technological innovations in the lake fishery between 1975 and 1989 by the Fisheries Division of the Imo State Ministry: of Agriculture and the Anambra - Imo River Basin Development Authority (AIRBDA) are largely responsible. These had resulted in unhealthy dramatic fishing transitions, excessive fishing pressure and resource over-exploitation. Restocking programme has been advocated as the most effective and accelerated management strategy for resuscitating lake bodies whose fishery resource are depleted. However the unclear identity of the young stages of the fauna for use in restocking programmes especially the fingerlings from the wild is a major set-back. The present study therefore ascertains the identity of Citharinus distichodoides (Pellegrin, 1919) a commercially important component of the lake fishery, through the analysis of morphometric and meristic features. Other characteristics that make field identification easy are also discussed.
Key words: Morpho merisic analysis, Citharinus distichodoides restocking policy