Maturity, fecundity and the effect of reduced rainfall on the spawning rhythm of a siluroid catfish, Clarias mossambicus (Peters)
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Five maturity stages in the male and six in the female Clarias mossambicus (Peters) are described based on macroscopic and histological analysis of the gonads. During the study period (September 1984-August 1985) the species spawned only once instead of the usual biannual spawnings which coincide with the two rainy seasons in the gulf region. The reduction in the spawning rhythm is associated with the reduced rainfall which the Nyanza district experienced during October-December 1984. Rainfall, therefore, acts as a spawning stimulus in the species. Ripe ovaries which could not be released due to lack of spawning underwent atresia. The fecundity of fish measuring 46 0-87-Ocm TL ranged from 7966-229648 with a mean of 78152 eggs and it increased lineariy with total length (r = 0-9165) and body weight (r = 0.9371). The overall ratio of male to female was 1:1. First sexual maturity is attained in the length range of 41-45cm TL in both sexes.