Gonadal development pattern and reproductive capacity for Clarias liocephalus.
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The present study was conducted to understand some aspects on the reproductive biology of Clarias liocephalus to guide in artificial propagation. The total egg production, influence of body length, and ovary weight on the number of eggs were examined and. gonadal development stages and size at first sexual maturity determined. A total of 449 fish collected from Kamuwunga -Lwera swamp along Kampala -Masaka road were examined of which 30 gravid females were used to estimate egg production. The number of eggs per individual female ranged from 14 to 34 eggs/g of fish with an average of 24±9 eggs/g of fish. The number of eggs produced increased with an increase in total length and gonadal weight. The reproductive cycle of C. liocephalus was categorized into four stages: immature, maturing, ripe and running stages which is a characteristic for most freshwater fishes. The fish matured at smaller sizes of 11.2 and 13.9 cm for females and males respectively. Therefore, hatchery operators should select fish of sizes above 14.0 cm as brood stock for artificial propagation to protect sexually immature males. However, more research is required to assess the hatchability and survival of C. liocephalus eggs and fry respectively.