, Volume 146, Issue 1, pp 89–96 | Cite as

The biomass and yield of the dominant fish species in Hartbeespoort Dam, South Africa

  • K. L. Cochrane


The standing stocks of the three dominant fish species in Hartbeespoort Dam, O. mossambicus, C. gariepinus and C. carpio, were determined by mark and recapture experiments and Leslie's method of fishing success. The biomass of O. mossambicus increased from 279 t in 1982 to 521 t in 1983, following good recruitment to the population after a year's mild winter mortality. Only one reliable estimate of each of the other two species could be made, C. gariepinus (293 t) and C. carpio (581 t). The fish community was heavily utilised by recreational anglers and the estimated mean annual yields were O. mossambicus (144 t), C. gariepinus (102 t) and C. carpio (449 t). These yields are probably higher than the longer term mean harvest as a result of low water levels during the study period, which increased catchability. The high standing stocks and yields are ascribed to high nutrient concentrations and primary production.


freshwater fish biomass yield recreational fishery hypertrophic 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beukema, J. J. & G. J. de Vos, 1974. Experimental tests of a basic assumption of the capture-recapture method in pond populations of carp Cyprinus carpio L. J. Fish Biol. 6: 317–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Burgis, M. J. & I. G. Dunn, 1978. Production in three contrasting ecosystems. In: Gerking, S. D. (ed.) Ecology of freshwater fish production, pp. 137–158. Oxford, Blackwell.Google Scholar
  3. Cadieux, J. J., 1980. Freshwater angling in the Transvaal. Project TN 6/4/7/3. Nature Conservation Division, Transvaal Provincial Administration, Pretoria 31 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Caulton, M. S., 1978. The effect of temperature and mass on routine metabolism in Sarotherodon (Tilapia) mossambicus (Peters). J. Fish Biol. 13: 195–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cochrane, K. L., 1984. A preliminary assessment of the impact of some aspects of the Hartbeespoort Dam environment on production of the major fish species. J. Limnol. Soc. sth. Afr. 10: 11–15.Google Scholar
  6. Cochrane, K. L., 1985. The population dynamics and sustainable yield of the major fish species in Hartbeespoort Dam. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, U. of Witwatersrand. 257 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Coulter, G. W., 1981. Biomass, production and potential yield of the Lake Tanganyika pelagic fish community. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 110: 325–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hanson, J. M. & W. C. Leggett, 1982. Empirical predictions of fish biomass and yield. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 39: 257–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hofmeyr, H. P., 1978. Techno-economic survey of eutrophication of the Hartbeespoort Dam. CSIR Special Report Wat 53. 19 pp. Pretoria, CSIR.Google Scholar
  10. Koch, B. S. & H. J. Schoonbee, 1980. A fish mark- recapture study in Boskop Dam, Western Transvaal. Water S.A. 6: 149–155.Google Scholar
  11. Marshall, B. E., 1982. The fish of Lake McIlwaine. In: Thornton, J. A. (ed.) Lake McIlwaine. The eutrophication and recovery of a tropical African lake pp. 156–188. The Hague, Dr W. Junk.Google Scholar
  12. Marshall, B. E., F. J. R. Junor & J. D. Langerman, 1982. Fisheries and fish production on the Zimbabwean side of Lake Kariba. Kariba Studies 10: 175–231.Google Scholar
  13. Melack, J. M., 1976. Primary production and fish yields in tropical lakes. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 105: 575–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Oglesby, R. T., 1977. Relationships of fish yield to lake phytoplankton standing crop, production, and morphoedaphic factors. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 34: 2271–2279.Google Scholar
  15. Ricker, W. E., 1971. Methods of assessment of fish production in fresh waters. 2nd edition. IBP Handbook No. 3. Oxford, Blackwell.Google Scholar
  16. Ricker, W. E., 1975. Computation and Interpretation of Biological Statistics of Fish Populations. Bull. Fish. Res. Board Can. 191: 382 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Robarts, R. D., 1984. Factors controlling primary production in a hypertrophic lake (Hartbeespoort Dam, South Africa). J. Plank. Res. 6: 91–106.Google Scholar
  18. Robarts, R. D., P. J. Ashton, J. A. Thornton, H. J. Taussig & L. H. Sephton, 1982. Overturn in a hypertrophic, warm, monomictic impoundment (Hartbeespoort Dam, South Africa). Hydrobiologia, 97: 209–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Scott, W. E., M. T. Seaman, A. D. Connell, S. I. Kohlmeyer & D. F. Toerien, 1977. The limnology of some South African impoundments. I. The physico-chemical limnology of Hartbeespoort Dam. J. Limnol. Soc. sthn. Afr. 3: 43–58.Google Scholar
  20. Scott, W. E., P. J. Ashton, R. D. Walmsley & M. T. Seaman, 1980. Hartbeespoort Dam. A case study of a hypertrophic, warm, monomictic impoundment. In: Barica, J. & Hur, L. R. (eds) Hypertrophic Ecosystems pp 317–322. The Hague, Dr W. Junk.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. L. Cochrane
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute for Water ResearchPretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations