Comparative assessment of diet and condition factor of Cyprinus carpio and Oreochromis leucostictus in Lake Naivasha, Kenya

Feeding Detritus Algae Zooplankton Phytoplankton Plant materials.


  • James Last Keyombe Lake Turkana Research Station, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, P.O. Box 205 - 30500, Lodwar, Kenya.
  • Yasindi W. Andrew Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University, P.O. Box 536 - 20115, Egerton, Kenya.
  • Oyugi O. Dalmas Migori County, Fisheries and Livestock Development, P.O. Box 210 - 40400, Suna-Migori, Kenya.
June 30, 2017


The study compared and assessed the diet and condition factors of two fish species, Oreochromis leucostictus and Cyprinus carpio, in Lake Naivasha. Fish samples were collected monthly using gill nets (35-70 mm mesh size) from July to December 2013. Stomach contents of all the specimens were analysed using the point method. Results indicated that detritus was the most abundant food item in the diet of both O. leucostictus and C. carpio accounting for 50% and 63%, respectively, while benthic macroinvertebrates contributed the least with each fish having 2%. Rooting and digging behaviour of the carp probably led to both C. carpio and O. leucostictus ingesting the suspended detritus as their main source of food with C. carpio outcompeting O. leucostictus due to its prolific nature and better adaptability to benthic conditions. Fulton's condition factor of all the fish samples had values of >1. A comparison of the two fish species showed C. carpio had a condition factor of 1.51 while O. leucostictus had 1.32. The higher condition factor of C. carpio in Lake Naivasha is an indication that the fish have better tissue energy reserves, greater reproductive potential and higher survival rates compared to O. leucostictus with a lower condition factor.