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Research Article Open Access
Bhouiyan et al., Fish Aquac J 2016, 7:2
earch Artilce Open Access
Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal
Fi sh er ie s a
nd Aquaculture Journal
ISSN: 2150-3508
Volume 7 • Issue 2 • 1000165
Fish Aquac J
ISSN: 2150-3508 FAJ, an open access journal
Keywords: Fish species; Fishing activity; Flood water; Water quality;
Population growth has resulted in increasing demand for the use of
rivers to satisfy a diverse range of human needs, including solid waste
disposal and the discharge of industrial, sewage and mining effluents.
The modifications to rivers disrupt the aquatic ecosystem and diminish
its integrity [1-3] affecting the capacity of fish and other organisms
to survive. However, most of the wild populations have seriously
declined in rivers and streams of Bangladesh due to over exploitation
augmented by various ecological changes and degradation of the
natural habitats [4]. Water quality has been affected by a combination
of factors including sewage and industrial wastes and agricultural runoff [5]. The large input of organic matter to aquatic flood plain habitats
may reduce dissolved oxygen and result in the emigration or death
of a great number of fishes [6]. It has been established that pollution
of the river impacts key physiochemical properties of water thereby
causing reduced dissolved oxygen (DO) level [7]. Fishes are relatively
sensitive to changes in their surrounding environment. The concept
of using fish communities as biological indicator has been historically
followed by several authors [8,9]. Their size, community composition
and structure often reflect nutrient status of a water body. Fish health
may therefore reflect and give a good indication of the status of specific
aquatic ecosystem [10,11].
Turag River of Bangladesh is a tide-influenced River passing
through west-north and north of Dhaka City [12]. In the recent past,
the human population, different industries, agricultural land converted
into industrial and housing development land, brick fields around
the Turag river basin has increased tremendously caused serious
environmental pollution through discharging their untreated effluents
directly or indirectly into river water. Industrial area possesses about
29 heavy industries and this cluster of industries of the capital city
generates 7,159 kg effluents daily discharge and pollutants enter freely
into the river [13]. In September 2009, four rivers around the Dhaka
city-the Buriganga, the Sitalakhaya, the Turag and the Balu, were
declared as Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) by the Government of
Bangladesh. Therefore, it is imperative to monitor the aquatic fauna of
this river. However, the documented sources of pollution in this river
are widely varied and range from Industrial Effluents; Solid Waste;
Textile Dyeing Industries; Municipal and Sewerage Disposal; Heavy
Metal in sediment and water; Oil discharge. These industries discharge
untreated wastewaters into river containing various types of hazardous
chemicals including enzymes, detergents, dyes, acids, alkalies, salts and
toxic heavy metals [14-18].
Most of these wastes are non-biodegradable and continuously
leaching pollutant into the water body. However, several studies
indicated that the Turag river water and sediment are highly
contaminated [5,19,20]. Therefore, the need for water body specific
detailed biodiversity studies [21]. No quantitative data for assessing
fish abundance is available for this river system. The objective of this
study is to assess the ichyofaunal diversity of River Turag. We will
classify fish species, how seasonal changes in water level impact the
diversity of species.
Materials and Methods
Study area and period
The Turag is 75 km long of which only about 18.4 km are within
the study area starting (Figure 1) from Amin Bazar bridge (23°47’ N
90°20’E) to Kamar para bridge (23°53’ N 90°23’E). Turag is the upper
tributary of the Buriganga, a major river in Bangladesh. Turag River is
supposed to derive massive pollutant loadings from industrial effluents
directly as industries, textiles, dyeing and pharmaceuticals have
*Corresponding author: Mohammad Abdul Baki, Assistant Professor, Department
of Zoology, Jagannath University, Dhaka-1100, Bangladesh, Tel: +8801610184562;
Received November 03, 2015; Accepted April 13, 2016; Published April 20, 2016
Citation: Bhouiyan NA, Baki MA, Sarker A, Hossain Md M (2016) Inventory of
Ichthyofaunal Diversity, Fishing Gear and Craft in Turag River, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Fish Aquac J 7: 165. doi:10.4172/2150-3508.1000165
Copyright: © 2016 Bhouiyan NA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed
under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original author and source are credited.
Biodiversity of many Bangladesh Rivers is seriously threatened by industrial and municipal pollution. The study
was conducted in the Turag River starting from Amin Bazar bridge (23°47’ N 90°20’E) to Kamarpara bridge (23°53’
N 90°23’E). This inventory survey was sampled at a fortnightly interval usually between 7.00 am to 5.00 pm by a
team using a boat from December 2012 to November 2013. Detailed information on catch by species, fish length and
weight, different types of gear and craft were collected through direct observation. A total of 71 (65 indigenous and 6
exotic) fish species (under 25 families of 9 orders) have been identified. 17 different types of gears of two categories
(active and passive gear) and 8 different types of crafts were observed to harvest fish in the study area. The survey
revealed that rising floodwater stimulated an increase in fishing activities in the study area from July to October. Fish
numbers were recorded lower from November to July (dry and pre-monsoon period) likely due to reduced water flow
and adverse water quality of this river. A paired t-test indicate that fish species numbers were significantly difference
between Dry and pre-monsoon (P=0.02), Dry and monsoon (P=0.02) and Dry and post-monsoon season (P=0.03)
respectively. However, fisheries resources contribution is very limited for livelihood of the surrounding people.
Inventory of Ichthyofaunal Diversity, Fishing Gear and Craft in Turag
River, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Naser Ahmed Bhouiyan, Mohammad Abdul Baki*, Anirban Sarker and Md. Muzammel Hossain
Department of Zoology, Jagannath University, Dhaka-1100, Bangladesh
Citation: Bhouiyan NA, Baki MA, Sarker A, Hossain Md M (2016) Inventory of Ichthyofaunal Diversity, Fishing Gear and Craft in Turag River, Dhaka,
Bangladesh. Fish Aquac J 7: 165. doi:10.4172/2150-3508.1000165
Page 2 of 6
Volume 7 • Issue 2 • 1000165
Fish Aquac J
ISSN: 2150-3508 FAJ, an open access journal
clustered here. There are numerous canals, channels, and pipes directly
discharging industrial, municipal and domestic sewage into the Turag,
these observed by our study period (Figure 2). During the monsoon
season, the water quality improves moderately, but on the advent of
the dry season, pollution concentration increases abruptly because
the water level of the rivers reduces a lot at this time, but the rate of
pollutants released into the rivers remains identical. This inventory
survey work of the Turag River was sampled inside at fortnightly
interval for a total of 12 months from December 2012 to November
Sampling procedure
A team of two biologists carried out continuous survey using a
boat. Detailed information on catch by species and different types of
gear and craft were collected while fishermen were harvesting fish in
the river. Survey procedure also included recording individual fish
length and weight. Survey was usually made between 7.00 am to 5.00
pm. Materials were included digital camera, measuring tape, spring
balance, polythene bags, data sheet, pencil, rubber band, map and other
field logistics. The samples were photographed, immediately prior to
preservation. The fish specimens caught by each fishing gears were also
recorded separately.
Fish and gear identification
Fish identification, common and scientific names used throughout
this study are in accordance with pictorial books and gear identified by
Ahmed N [22-24].
Type of habitat preference categories
Fish species were divided into three categories according to [25]
which are define below.
Riverine: Species usually found in rivers and estuaries throughout
their life cycle with no dependence on the floodplain, although some of
these species can be found more extensive floodplains.
Migratory: Species which move between river and floodplain
during different stages in their life cycle. It remains unclear whether
such movements are obligatory for their survival.
Floodplain resident (sedentary): Species which are generally
sedentary and are capable of surviving in the perennial waters on the
floodplain throughout the year. Many of these species also in habit a
variety of other habitats including large rivers.
Hydrological year
Hydrological year can be divided into four seasons according to
Rising flood (pre-monsoon): May-June.
Full flood (monsoon): July- September.
Flood drawdown (post monsoon): October-November.
Dry season (winter): December-April.
Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) set up a water
level monitoring station at Turag River for forecasting the flood
situation of Dhaka city. This station was located at 23°78’33’’ and N
90°34’E for the daily monitoring of the water level of Turag River which
included a staff gages. Therefore, this study collected the daily water
depth data during study period from BWDB office, 72 Green Road,
Farmgate, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Bangladesh metrological department
showed that pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and dry period
in 2013 received average rainfall in Dhaka city was 339.9, 330.0, 103.35
and 54.3 mm respectively.
Statistical analysis
We used a paired t-test to test whether the fish species number in
different seasons were significantly different between dry season and
pre-monsoon, dry season and monsoon, dry season and post monsoon
or not. Correlation analysis was also done among water depth, fish
species and fishing activity.
The measurement of water depth, increased and depletion of Turag
River water in different months are shown in Figure 3. Depth of Turag
Figure 1: Map of Turag River.
Figure 2: Different types of threats for fish in the Turag River.
Citation: Bhouiyan NA, Baki MA, Sarker A, Hossain Md M (2016) Inventory of Ichthyofaunal Diversity, Fishing Gear and Craft in Turag River, Dhaka,
Bangladesh. Fish Aquac J 7: 165. doi:10.4172/2150-3508.1000165
Page 3 of 6
Volume 7 • Issue 2 • 1000165
Fish Aquac J
ISSN: 2150-3508 FAJ, an open access journal
River water starts to rise in May due to pre-monsoon water. This initial
increase in discharge is followed by very sharp rise, usually occurring
in July to reach flood peaks in August and September. This is result of
monsoon. Depth of water normally decreases after peaks of September
onwards, reaching a minimum level in March. Water depth data clearly
show that water depth is lower in the winter and pre-monsoon (from
December to June) periods compared to monsoon and post-monsoon
period (July to November). There is no detectable change of water
depth in Turag during winter period due to flow of water in this period.
Identification of fish species in Turag River
A total of 71 species of freshwater fishes (65 indigenous and 6 exotic
species) belonging to 9 orders and included under 25 families were
found in Turag River. Each of the individuals of all the species length
and weight observations were recorded for the 71 fish species analyzed
in this study also. Among fish species, 9 endangered, 5 critically
endangered and 12 vulnerable species were classified respectively
(Table 1).
Seasonal impact on fish distribution
Seasonal changes in the fisheries of rivers may be determined by
fishing activities, cyclical changes in discharge, water velocity, water
level and water pollution which in turns greatly influence the relative
at er le ve l (
m )
Figure 3: Daily water level of Turag River for study period.
Order Family Scientific name English name Local name Length (cm) Weight (gm) Local Status
Osteoglossiformes Notopteridae
Chitala chitala Humped Featherback Chital, Chetol 24 90 En
Notopterus notopterus Grey Featherback Foli, Fholui 16 40 Vu
Clupeidae Tenualosa ilisha River Shad, Hilsa Shad Ilish, Ilsha 10 10
Engraulidae Gudusia chapra Indian river shad Chapila 10 10
Channiformes Channidae
Channa punctata Spotted Snakehead Taki, Lata, Lati 20 67
Channa striatus Snakehead Murrel Shol 13 48
Channa marulius Great Snakehead Gajar, Gajari 19 170 En
Channa orientalis Walking Snakehead Gachua, Cheng 13 15 Vu
Amblypharyngodon mola Mola carplet Mola, Moa 5 5
Barbonymus gonionotus Java Barb Thai Sarpunti 27 300
molitrix Silver Carp Silver Carp 29 210
Aristichthys nobilis Bighead Carp Bighead 46 1250
Labeo calbasu Black Rohu, Kalbasu Kalibaus, Baus 23 200 En
Catla catla Catla Catla, Katla 440 31
Cyprinus carpio Common carp Carpu 42 2450
Cirrhinus cirrhosus Mrigal carp Mrigal, Mirka 13 45
Labeo rohita Rohu, Rohu Carp Rui, Rohit 220 27
Labeo gonius Kuria Labeo Ghannya, Goni 22 520 En
Labeo bata Bata Labeo Bata, Bhangan Bata 13 45 En
Cirrhinus reba Reba Tatkini, Bata 10.5 15 Vu
Labeo boggut Boggut Labeo Ghania , Gohria 14 50
Osteobrama cotio Cotio Keti, Dhela, Dhipali 4.5 2 En
Puntius sarana Olive Berb Sar Punti 7 7 Cr
Puntius sophore Spotfin Swamp Barb Punti, Jat Punti 6 5
Puntius chola Swamp Barb, Chola Barb Chalapunti, Punti 6 5
Puntius terio One spot Barb Teri Punti 6 6 Vu
Puntius guganio Grass barb Mola punti 6 5
Puntius conchonius Rosy Barb, Red Barb Kanchan Punti 6 5
Rasbora daniconius Common Rasbora Darkina 6 1
Salmostoma phulo Finescale Razorbelly Minnow Fulchela 7 3
Salmostoma bacaila Large Razorbelly Minnow Narkalichela 6 4
Aspidoparia jaya Jaya Jaya, Peali 7 3
Botia dario Queen Loach, Bengal Loach Rani 8 7 En
guntea Guntea Loach Gutum 8 5
Citation: Bhouiyan NA, Baki MA, Sarker A, Hossain Md M (2016) Inventory of Ichthyofaunal Diversity, Fishing Gear and Craft in Turag River, Dhaka,
Bangladesh. Fish Aquac J 7: 165. doi:10.4172/2150-3508.1000165
Page 4 of 6
Volume 7 • Issue 2 • 1000165
Fish Aquac J
ISSN: 2150-3508 FAJ, an open access journal
abundance of different species of fish. Clear seasonal patterns in the
variation of total number of species recorded in this study area were
evident (Figure 4). Most of the species was observed from August to
November (during monsoon and post monsoon period) for 4 months
only. It can be seen that the higher species numbers were captured
from July to November with two peaks in August and October (Figure
4) respectively. Correlation analysis between water depth and fish
species number (r=0.74) and fishing activities (r=0.96) showed strong
correlation. A paired t-test indicate that fish species numbers were
significantly difference between dry and pre-monsoon (P=0.02), dry
and monsoon (P=0.02) and dry and post-monsoon season (P=0.03)
respectively. Fish species numbers rose fairly sharply from July when
floodwaters also rose during monsoon (July-September) (Figure 4).
So peak observed in August may be associated with monsoon because
there is different kind of fishes which breeding cycle and migrations up
and down river related with monsoon. Whilst second and highest peak
in October was associated with flood drawdown (October-November)
coincided with the entry of floodplain fishes into the river. The
importance of the flood drawdown period to the catch of other species
can clearly be seen as number of species increased (Figure 4) which
had migrated from the rapidly drying floodplains. However, highest
fish diversity was observed in October compared to August peak. These
results support that the fish species composition was greatly influences
by the flood water situation. Also is showed that the study proportion
of the length of the rivers is fish less during this period. Despite this,
water level and flow also sharply reduced in this period (Figure 3).
Gear and its distribution, number of species in gear
List of gears, trap and hooks are presented for this river in Figure
5. A total of 17 different types of fishing gears of two categories (active
and passive gear) were observed to harvest fish in the study area.
Dominant gear was cast net observed for 10 months followed by lift net
(khora jal) observed for 7 months. Higher numbers (7-14) of the gears
were used from July to November while extremely lower numbers (1-3)
from December to June (Figure 6). The highest numbers of fish species
were found in lift net (khora jal) and the lowest number of fish species
was found in Box trap (Chai).
Mystus bleekeri Stripped Dwarf catfish Bajari Tengra, Bujri 11 9
Mystus tengara Day's Mystus Gulsha Tengra 6 4
Mystus cavasius Gangetic Mystus Kabashi Tengra, 8 7 Vu
Mystus vittatus Stripped Dwarf catfish Tengra 7 8
Sperata aor Long Whiskered Ayre 21 120 Vu
Siluridae Wallago attu Boal Boal, Boali 14 15
Ailia coila Gangetic Ailia Kajuli, Bashpata 10 5
Ailia punctata Jamuna Ailia Kajuli, Bashpata 10 5 Vu
Clupisoma garua Garua Bacha, Gagra Garua Bacha 18 50 Cr
Eutropiichthys murius Murius vacha Muri bacha 15 30
Eutropiichthys vacha Batchwa vacha, Bacha Bacha, Garua Bacha 15 30 Cr
Pangasiidae Pangaius pangaius Pungas Pangas 10 15 Cr
Bagarius bagarius Gangetic Goonch Baghair 14.5 245 Cr
Gagata cenia Indian Gagata Cenia, Jungla 7 8
Heteropneustidae Heteropneustes fossilis Stinging Catfish Shing, Jiol 15 25
Loricariidae Hypostomus plecostomus Suckermouth catfish Choshok machh 18 75
Synbranchiformes Synbranchidae Monopterus cuchia Cuchia Kuchia, Kuicha 51 180 Vu
Pseudambassis lala Highfin Glassy Perchlet Lal Chanda 3.5 1
Pseudambassis baculis Himalayan Glassy Perchlet Kata Chanda 3.5 1
Chanda nama Elongate Glass-perchlet Nama Chanda 5 2 Vu
Pseudambassis ranga Indian Glassy fish Ranga Chanda 6.5 2 Vu
Sciaenidae Otolithoides pama Pama Croaker, Pama Poa, Poma 13 50 C
Nandidae Nandus nandus Mottled Nandus Bheda, Meni 13 50 Vu
Oreochromis mossambicus Tilapia Tilapia 21 200
Oreochromis niloticus Nile Tilapia Nilotica, Tilapia 26 325
Gobiidae Glossogobius giuris Tank Goby Bele, Bailla 7 3
Anabantidae Anabas testudineus The Climbing Perch Koi, Kai 17 60
Colisa lalia Red Gourami Lal khalisha 4.5 4
Colisa fasciata Stripled Gourami Khalisha, cheli 5.5 12
Ctenops nobilis Indian paradisefish, Frail Gourami
Naftani, Napit
khailsha 5 2 En
Macrognathus pancalus Striped Spinyeel Guchi Baim 10 10
Macrognathus aculeatus Lesser Spiny Eel Tara Baim 25 20 Vu
Mastacembelus armatus Tire-track Spiny Eel Sal Baim, Bro Baim 28 70 En
Mugilidae Rhinomugil corsula Corsula Mullet Khalla 4 8
Beloniformes Belonidae Xenentodon cancila Needle Fish Kankila, Kakila 18 10
Tetraodontiformes Tetraodon
Tetraodon cutcutia Ocellated pufferfish Tepa, Potka 9 6
Tetraodon fluviatilis Green puffer fish Potka 3.5 4
*(C=Common, Cr=Critical endangered, En=Endangered and Vu=Vulnerable).
Table 1: Identification of Fish species in the Turag River.
Citation: Bhouiyan NA, Baki MA, Sarker A, Hossain Md M (2016) Inventory of Ichthyofaunal Diversity, Fishing Gear and Craft in Turag River, Dhaka,
Bangladesh. Fish Aquac J 7: 165. doi:10.4172/2150-3508.1000165
Page 5 of 6
Volume 7 • Issue 2 • 1000165
Fish Aquac J
ISSN: 2150-3508 FAJ, an open access journal
No previous statistics of fish fauna in this river was found and thus
comparison of the present findings with previous one was not possible.
This problem seemed not new in Bangladesh while working with
fish diversity [21,26] and indicates the need for water-body specific
fish diversity study in Bangladesh. The fish species of study area has
been classified in terms of “endangered”, “critically endangered”, or
“vulnerable” fish species by IUCN Bangladesh 2000 [27]. This same
characteristic was noted in rivers Jamuna and Padma [25]. However,
fish species numbers gradually decrease from October to November
when gear number gradually increased in these months. This results
indicated that reduce number of fish in these months may be associated
with increased fishing activities. But fish species and gear numbers were
sharply decreased starting from November. This continues till June
with more or less constant number of fish and gear respectively. Our
data indicated that there was almost zero catches during these periods.
Very low dissolved oxygen (DO) 1.9 mg/l to 0.7 mg/l) were
recorded in this river from November to June (Dry and Pre-monsoon
period) by Sharmin [28]. Furthermore, Rahman measured the DO
concentration of Turag was lower from December to April and lowest
value was 0.11 mg/l [5]. When DO goes below 4 to 5 mg/l, the survival
of water organisms begin to go down, when anaerobic condition exists,
higher life form like fish may be driven out. Furthermore, our data
indicated that only Channa puctata, Heteropneustes fossilis and Anabas
testudinus were observed during Dry and Pre-monsoon periods in
the study area. Heteropneustes fossilis can respire aerially by gulping
in air at various intervals when the oxygen content of water is low,
[29]. The air-breathing apparatus of these species enables it to exist
in almost any kind of water. Ahmed mentioned that Black fish have a
broad environmental tolerance and can sustain the harsh conditions
during the dry season [30]. Black fish include members of the
Clariidae, Siluridae and Ophiocephalidae. However, only presence of
these species during Dry and Pre-monsoon periods indicated that the
health of river is highly polluted. Coates indicated that environmental
degradation and habitat loss, not excessive fishing effort, is reported
as the major cause of declining fisheries in most rivers under stress
situation [31]. Furthermore, Naidu mentioned that the amount of catch
depends upon its productivity of the fishing grounds [32]. Therefore,
the extreme significantly lower number and diversity of fishes (almost
zero) were recorded in Dry and Pre-monsoon period mainly due to
adverse water quality of this river not for increased fishing activities.
The lowest quality in fish assemblages occurred near cities that receive
large amount of organic and industrial pollutants [33,34]. Considering
the mentioned fact, it is noted that observed almost zero catch from
December to June caused by reduced water flow and adverse water
quality which may lead towards extinct of fishes from this river at least
in this period if something is not done for their conservation.
In conclusion, this study provides the first basic and baseline
information on ichyofaunal diversity, fishing Gear and Craft in
the Turag river that would be beneficial for fishery biologists and
conservationists to impose adequate regulations for sustainable fishery
management and conservation of biodiversity for the river as well as
for other rivers in Bangladesh.
Special thanks to professional staff associated with the Turag River Biological
Survey, for field collection assistance and for professional training and other
courtesies. Funding for this study was provided Jagannath University in support of
the Baki’s Lab as research grant 2012-2013.
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Citation: Bhouiyan NA, Baki MA, Sarker A, Hossain Md M (2016) Inventory of Ichthyofaunal Diversity, Fishing Gear and Craft in Turag River, Dhaka,
Bangladesh. Fish Aquac J 7: 165. doi:10.4172/2150-3508.1000165
Page 6 of 6
Volume 7 • Issue 2 • 1000165
Fish Aquac J
ISSN: 2150-3508 FAJ, an open access journal
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Citation: Bhouiyan NA, Baki MA, Sarker A, Hossain Md M (2016) Inventory
of Ichthyofaunal Diversity, Fishing Gear and Craft in Turag River, Dhaka,
Bangladesh. Fish Aquac J 7: 165. doi:10.4172/2150-3508.1000165
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