Analysis of Food And Feeding Habits of Catfish (Bagrus bayad, Macropterus (Daget>/i>) in River Rima and Goronyo Dam, in Sokoto State, Nigeria
Food and feeding habits of the two size class of Bagrus bayad caught in River Rima and Goronyo Dam in north western Nigeria between October, 2002 and September, 2003 were studied for feeding adaptations and stomach contents. Feeding adaptive features such as mouth, gill rakers, dentition and gut system were examined. Gut length and fish length indicated rectilinear positive relationship. The regression coefficient (b) and correlation coefficient (r) of gut length to fish length were highly significant (p<0.01). Data on stomach contents was subjected to frequency of occurrence analysis. Categorization of the stomachs of the fish samples showed that (62.5%) had food contents, while (37.5%) were empty. The food substances identified included those of animal origin with overall occurrence of 85.1% in the samples from River Rima and 82.4% in those from Goronyo Dam. During the dry season, frequency of occurrence of animal materials were higher in the juveniles (<20cm) (89.5%) and adults (³20cm) (85.2%) fish from River Rima , while in those from Goronyo Dam, their occurrences were 90.5 and 75.3%, respectively. The results of percentage occurrence of food substances in the rainy season showed that animal substances in the juveniles (58.2%) and adults (75.5%) were higher than the corresponding insects in fish collected during the dry season. Results of this study showed that Bagrus bayad is a carnivore and revealed the relative importance of different categories of the food substances in juvenile and adult fish from the two water bodies during the seasons.