Authored by Brad Czerniak

The fishery activities in Lake Edward are among the major economic activities sustaining livelihoods for the large majority of local communities. In spite of their importance, the conservation and management of critical aquatic habitats is still neglected, leading to alarming rates of decline in fisheries productivity. Growing populations, rapid industrialization and oil exploitation in the region are predicted to exacerbate the pressure on freshwater ecosystems. This requires that appropriate action should be taken for sustainable management of the fishery resources. However, an incomplete understanding of freshwater fisheries ecology, at the managerial level, often hampers proper planning and management. This project focused on freshwater resources in Virunga (ViNP) and Queen Elizabeth National Parks (QENP) in the Albertine Rift region, East Africa. The project is part of an initiative that aims to provide fundamental knowledge necessary to support sustainable management and conservation of fishery resources in ViNP and QENP. The study investigated fish migration movements along Ishasha River and Lake Edward. It sought to quantify the migratory patterns of fish species and identify their vital spawning and breeding areas, as well as to define migration extent along the river and tributaries as appropriate. It also determined migratory periods of fish species and their life stages. It further took into account the environmental factors (droughts and floods) and measured limnological parameters of waters in the river and lake critical habitats.