Department of Zoology, Kirtipur Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal Key words: rare fish; conservation; threatened species; Nepal. The fishes of Himalayan waters are biologically diverse (Hora, 1937; Menon, 1974). More than 130 species occur in the snow-fed rivers and mountain lakes of the Nepalese highlands. Of the major rivers, Koshi has 108 species, Narayani has 102, Karnali has 74 and Mahakali has 69 species (Shrestha, 1990). In these rivers, and Sunkoshi and Trisuli, dams and barrages have been constructed for hydro-electric power stations and navigational purposes. The dams do not have fish-ladders and they obstruct and prevent upstream and downstream movements of fish. Rare migratory fishes like the species of mahseer and local ' trout ' (Cyprinidae; Table I), are also affected by changes in water velocity and fluctuating levels that sometimes expose the spawning beds. The shallow tailwater regions below dams where fish congregate are exploited by fishermen, poachers and predatory animals, killing rare fishes such as the stone carps (Psilorhynchidae), loaches (Cobitidae) and catfishes (Sisoridae) listed in Table I. The scientific management of the Nepalese mountain streams has just begun. The local human population has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Sewage, detergents and herbicides
Journal of Fish Biology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1990
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