Excess fishing in Lake Naivasha coupled with the county government’s failure to restock the troubled water body have been blamed for current drop in fish catch.
The latest data from the Department of Fisheries shows monthly fish catch has dropped by close to 40 per cent with fear this may rise in the coming months.
The Department, however noted the drop in fish catch is a recurring phenomena whenever there is a rise in water levels.
Nakuru County Director of Fisheries Mathew Ngila said both Tilapia and common carp species have been affected.
“We have recorded a 40 per cent drop in fish catch in the lake mainly due to the increase in water levels occasioned by heavy rains in the catchment area and this is always the norm”, he said.
Ngila said the number of illegal fishermen around the lake was on the rise but claimed their presence could not affect fish catch.
“We are working with other stakeholders such as Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to address the sharp rise in the number of illegal fishermen, he said.
The Director added that the County would this week restock the lake with 200,000 fingerlings using Ksh2 million set aside by the county government for the exercise.
However, Central Landing Beach Chair Lucas Atieno attributed the drop to illegal fishing around the troubled water body.
He said that “foot-fishermen” as they are popularly known, were using undersized nets on the shores of the lake thus trapping immature fish.
“We have a major problem around the lake in the name if foot-fishermen and if this is not addressed fishing will be a thing of the past”, he said
David Kilo from the Boats Owners Association said it was only a matter of months before fishing in the lake came to a standstill.
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