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Lake Kyoga (also spelled Kioga) is a large shallow lake in Uganda, about 1,720 km2 (660 sq mi)[1] in area and at an elevation of 1,033 metres.[2] The Victoria Nile flows through the lake on its way from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert. The main inflow from Lake Victoria is regulated by the Nalubaale Power Station in Jinja. Another source of water is the Mount Elgon region on the border between Uganda and Kenya. While Lake Kyoga is part of the African Great Lakes system, it is not itself considered a great lake.

Lake Kyoga
Lake Kyoga (NASA).jpg
2002 NASA MODIS satellite picture. White spots are clouds.
Kyoga Lake Complex OSM.jpg
Coordinates1°30′N 33°0′E / 1.500°N 33.000°E / 1.500; 33.000Coordinates: 1°30′N 33°0′E / 1.500°N 33.000°E / 1.500; 33.000
TypePolymictic
Rift Valley Lakes
Primary inflowsVictoria Nile
Primary outflowsVictoria Nile
Catchment area75,000 km2 (29,000 sq mi)
Basin countriesUganda
Max. length~200 km (120 mi)
Surface area1,720 km2 (660 sq mi)
Max. depth5.7 m (19 ft)
Surface elevation1,033 m (3,389 ft)
SettlementsSoroti
References[1][2]
Rivers and lakes of Uganda.
Click image to enlarge.

The lake reaches a depth of about 5.7 metres, and most of it is less than 4 metres deep. Areas that are less than 3 metres deep are completely covered by water lilies, while much of the swampy shoreline is covered with papyrus and the invasive water hyacinth. The papyrus also forms floating islands that drift between a number of small permanent islands. Extensive wetlands fed by a complex system of streams and rivers surround the lakes. Nearby Lake Kwania is a smaller lake but deeper.

Fauna and fishingEdit

 
Haplochromis latifasciatus is one of the many cichlid species found only in the Lake Kyoga system

Nile crocodiles are numerous, as is other aquatic fauna. There are at least 60 haplochromine cichlid species, as well as a smaller number of other fish species like Lake Victoria sardine and marbled lungfish. Many of the haplochromine cichlids are endemic, but very closely related to the Lake Victoria species,[3][4] and showing a similar level of diversity in terms of feeding.[5] The Kyoga cichlids include both described species like Haplochromis latifasciatus and H. worthingtoni, and undescribed like H. sp. "Kyoga flameback" and H. sp. "ruby".[6] As in Lake Victoria, the Kyoga cichlids have been decimated by the introduced Nile perch and some species are already extinct. Because Kyoga generally is shallow and swampy, some subsections—"satellite lakes"—are isolated to various degrees from the main lake. The number of surviving haplochromine ciclids in each subsection is directly related to the status of the Nile perch. Despite being the largest by far, less than 50 haplochromine species survive in the main section where the Nile perch is common. In comparison, the much smaller satellite lakes Lemwa, Nyaguo and Nawampasa lack Nile perch, but at least 50 haplochromine species survive in each of the first two, and at least 60 in the last. Conversely, the small satellite lakes Nakuwa and Nyasala where Nile perch is abundant have less than 30 and 5 surviving haplochromines respectively.[3][4] This also means that fishing in the Lake Kyoga system gradually has shifted from once targeting many native species, to now primarily targeting the native Lake Victoria sardine, the introduced Nile perch and introduced Nile tilapia[7] (the two native tilapias, the Singida and Victoria, have become very rare, except in some satellite lakes).[4] In 2006, only 4% of catches were haplochromine cichlids.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Lake Kyoga". World Lakes Database. 1999. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b Lake Kyoga at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ a b Green, J. (2009). "The Kyoga Catchment". In H.J. Dumont (ed.). The Nile. Monographiae Biologicae. 89. Springer Science + Business Media B.V. pp. 205–214. ISBN 978-1-4020-9725-6.
  4. ^ a b c Mwanja, W.W.; A.S. Armoudlian; S.B. Wandera; L. Kaufman; L. Wu; G.C. Booton; P.A. Fuerst (2001). "The bounty of minor lakes: the role of small satellite water bodies in evolution and conservation of fishes in the Lake Victoria Region, East Africa". Hydrobiologia. 458 (1): 55–62. doi:10.1023/A:1013167725047.
  5. ^ Mbabazi, D.; R. Ogutu-Ohwayo; S.B. Wandera; Y. Kiziito (2004). "Fish species and trophic diversity of haplochromine cichlids in the Kyoga satellite lakes (Uganda)". African Journal of Ecology. 42 (1). doi:10.1111/j.0141-6707.2004.00492.x.
  6. ^ Bauman, K. "African Cichlids from the Lake Victoria basin". Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b Witte, F.; M. de Graaf; O.C. Mkumbo; A.I. El-Moghraby; F.A. Sibbing (2009). "Fisheries in the Nile System". In H.J. Dumont (ed.). The Nile. Monographiae Biologicae. 89. Springer Science + Business Media B.V. pp. 723–748. ISBN 978-1-4020-9725-6.
  • DWD (2002) El Niño preparedness for Lake Kyoga and other flood prone areas of Uganda. Directorate of Water Development. Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment, Entebbe, Uganda.
  • ILM (2004) Support to the Management of Sudd Blockage on Lake Kyoga. Produced for the Integrated Lake Management Project by Environmental Impact Assessment Centre of Finland, EIA Ltd. (online PDF version)
  • Twongo, T. (2001) The Fisheries and environment of Kyoga Lakes. Fisheries Resources Research Institute (FIRRI), Jinja, Uganda.

External linksEdit