A Survey on Fish Diversity in Sungai Enam, Temenggor Lake, Perak

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1 Malayan Nature Journal 2013, 65(2&3), 3037 A Survey on Fish Diversity in Sungai Enam, Temenggor Lake, Perak AHMAD ISMAIL 1, MOHAMMAD NOOR AMAL AZMAI 1*, MUSKHAZLI MUSTAFA 1, NOR AZWADY ABD AZIZ 1, MOHD NOOR HISHAM MOHD NADZIR 1 and FAID RAHMAN 1 Abstract: A survey was carried out to determine the fish diversity in Sungai Enam, Temenggor Lake, Perak, from the 1st to 3rd October of Three sampling sites possessing different altitude zones along the river were selected for this study. Fish sampling was carried for 12 hours per day for three consecutive days, while gill and scoop nets with the mesh size between 0.5 to 2.0 inches were used as the fishing equipments. The collected samples were preserved in 10% formalin solution and delivered to the laboratory for further identification. Ten fish species, namely as Hampala macrolepidota, Macrochirichthys macrochirus, Mystacoleucus marginatus, Rasbora sumatrana, Cyclocheilichthys apogon, Osteochilus vittatus, Poropuntius smedleyi, Mystus nigriceps, Pristolepis fasciata and Oxyeleotris marmorata, comprising of four families were collected during this study. Fishes from the family of Cyprinidae were the highest recorded, with seven species, followed by only a single species from the family of Bagridae, Nandidae and Eleotridae. The presence of M. nigriceps and M. macrochirus were firstly reported in this area. It is concluded that the presence of various fish species in different altitude zones of Sungai Enam is indicative of very good water quality and its surrounding environment. Keywords: Survey, Freshwater Fishes, Fish Diversity, Sungai Enam, Temenggor Lake, Perak. 1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. * Corresponding author 30

2 INTRODUCTION Malaysia is well known to have a wideranging variety of freshwater fishes. Approximately of 413 freshwater fish species, belonging to 178 families, are known to inhabit in Malaysia. Moreover, recent discovery of new fish species in Malaysian waters will most likely increase the diversity of fishes in this country in the future (Ambak et al. 2010). The diversity, composition and distribution of fish species in any habitat are closely associated with the physiochemical properties of water, availability of food, breeding sites and topography (Harris 1995). Moreover, the fish species diversity also can be used as a biological indicator to show the level of aquatic pollution contributing to environmental quality and also as important indicator of ecological health (Zainuddin 2005; Chong et al. 2010). Temenggor Lake, Perak, is the second largest lake in Peninsular Malaysia. This manmade lake is located in the Hulu Perak district and was created after the construction of Temenggor Dam, which is purposely to generate electric power. Covering more than 15,200 acres of land, this lake is also surrounded with a variety of flora and fauna. Previous reports showed that 42 fish species from a total of 12 families were identified in Temenggor Lake until 2010 (Hashim et al. 2012b). Sungai Enam (sungai = river), located to the east north of Banding Island, is one of the important rivers that continuously channel water into this lake. This river also forms a conducive habitat and protection for a diverse number of fish species, due to the fact that 28 different fish species has so far been identified in this river alone (Hashim et al. 2012a). Several studies on fish diversity of Temenggor Lake and Sungai Enam has been previously reported (Ismail and Sabariah 1995; Md Akhir 1999; Hashim et al. 2012a, 2012b). However, a frequent and continuous data update is required for monitoring, managing and planning for the conservation of the fishes in this lake and its rivers. Thus, this survey was conducted in order to determine and update the fish diversity that inhabits Sungai Enam, Temenggor Lake, Perak. MATERIALS AND METHODS This survey was conducted in Sungai Enam, Temenggor Lake, Perak, during a scientific expedition organized by Pulau Banding Foundation, Perak, from the 1st to 3rd October of It was observed that the water level in this lake was slightly low during this survey, due to less rainfall. 31

3 Figure 1. Map of Temenggor Lake, Sungai Enam and three sampling sites at different altitude zones along Sungai Enam. Three sampling sites with different altitude zones of Sungai Enam were selected for this study (Figure 1). Site 1 ( N E), which was located at the lowest altitude in this survey, was located at a point where the water from Sungai Enam reaches Temenggor Lake. The water current at this site was rather rapid, but clear, while its bed is sandy and covered with small rocks. The depth of this site ranges from 15cm to 100cm, but it gets quite deep during the rainy seasons, resulting from high water level. Site 2 ( N E) was a small pond situated at the mouth of Sungai Enam. This site was located at a higher altitude zone compared to site 1. This pond received continuous water from middle zone of Sungai Enam, but at a slower rate due to its low gradient. The water of this pond was slightly cloudy and contained high load of sediment at the bottom. The pond is also surrounded with a high density of vegetation, with some of these vegetations forming islands in the middle of the pond due to its lower water level. The depth of the water was between 50cm to 200cm. According to local people, the low water level of Temenggor Lake inadvertently creates this pond and it will disappear when the water level increases. The water from this pond slowly flows to site 1 before reaching Temenggor Lake. Site 3 ( N E) was situated at a small pool of a waterfall in the middle zone of Sungai Enam and located at the highest altitude among the three sampling sites. This site received continuously clear water with moderate water flow from the upper zone of Sungai Enam. The depth of this pool was varied from 30cm to 150cm. This 32

4 pool was surrounded by the riverbank consisting of rocks, with minimal vegetation, while its bottom contains a high amount of dead tree leaves and branches. The fishing equipments that were used in this survey were gill and scoop nets with a mesh size between 0.5 to 2.0 inches. The gill nets were set at 0700, maintained in the position, and hauled at 1900 of the same day. Two replicates of gill net of the same mesh size were used in each sampling area, while the scoop net was used to catch the fishes at vegetation, rocky and dead tree branches area. The same collected fish species were released back to their natural habitat. The collected fishes for analysis were preserved in 10% formalin solution and replaced by 70% alcohol after a week. The fishes were identified using standard taxonomic keys accordingly to Mohsin and Ambak (1983). RESULTS Ten fish species comprising of four families were collected during this survey (Table 1). Fishes from the family of Cyprinidae, which were Hampala macrolepidota (Kuhl & van Hasselt 1823), Macrochirichthys macrochirus (Valenciennes 1844), Mystacoleucus marginatus (Valenciennes 1842), Rasbora sumatrana (Bleeker 1852), Cyclocheilichthys apogon (Valenciennes 1842), Osteochilus vittatus (Valenciennes 1842) and Poropuntius smedleyi (de Beaufort 1933), were the highest recorded with seven species. It was followed by only a single fish species from the family of Bagridae, Pristolepididae and Eleotrididae which was Mystus nigriceps (Valenciennes 1840), Pristolepis fasciata (Bleeker 1851) and Oxyeleotris marmorata (Bleeker 1852), respectively. 33

5 Table 1. Comparison with the previous recorded fish species that inhabits different altitude zones of Sungai Enam, Temenggor Lake, Perak. Symbol of + and indicates the presence and absent of the fish species, respectively, while (1), (2) and (3) are the sampling sites where the fishes were collected. Family Species Hashim et al., (2012) June 2003 May 2004 July 2011 Present study October 2012 Cyprinidae Bagridae Nandidae Eleotridae Clariidae Channidae Hampala macrolepidota (Kuhl & Van Hasselt, 1823) Macrochirichthys macrochirus (Valenciennes, 1844) Mystacoleucus marginatus (Valenciennes, 1842) Rasbora sumatrana (Bleeker, 1852) Cyclocheilichthys apagon (Valenciennes, 1842) Osteochilus vittatus (Valenciennes, 1842) Poropuntius smedleyi (de Beaufort, 1933) Devario regina (Fomler, 1934) Puntius binotatus (Valenciennes, 1842) Puntius lateristriga (Bleeker, 1851) Neolissochilus soroides (Duncker, 1904) Mystus nigriceps (Valenciennes, 1840) Hemibagrus nemurus (Valenciennes, 1840) Pristolepis fasciata (Bleeker, 1851) Oxyeleotris marmorata (Bleeker, 1852) Clarias macrocephalus (Gunther, 1864) Clarias teijsmanni (Bleeker, 1857) Channa striata (Bloch, 1793) (1) + (1) + (1) + (3) 34

6 Family Species Hashim et al., (2012) June 2003 May 2004 July 2011 Present study October 2012 Siluridae Belonidae Ompok bimaculatus (Bloch, 1974) Xenentodon canciloides (Bleeker, 1853) + + Total no. of species Site 1, which was located at the lowest altitude zone in this survey recorded the presence of three species of fishes, namely as M. macrochirus, M. marginatus and R. sumatrana; while site 2, which was located at a higher altitude zone compared to site 1, recorded the highest in the presence of fishes with six species such as H. macrolepidota, C. apogon, O. vittatus, M. nigriceps, P. fasciata and O. marmorata. However, for site 3, which was located in the middle zone of Sungai Enam and also the highest altitude of sampling site in this survey recorded the presence of only a single species, which was P. smedleyi. DISCUSSION Site 1 was located at a point where the water from Sungai Enam reaches Temenggor Lake. It is interesting to point out the presence of M. macrochirus in this site, which was absent in previous studies in Sungai Enam and Temenggor Lake by Hashim et al. (2012a, 2012b). This finding may due to the fact that our sampling point was much further than Sungai Enam s river mouth, while their study only focused on the lower zone of the river. According to Ambak et al. (2010), the presence of M. macrochirus has been reported with large numbers in Sungai Paka, Terengganu, while a few numbers were caught in Bungor Lake and Chini Lake, Pahang. However, species such as M. marginatus and R. sumatrana has been previously identified in this river. The small pond at site 2 may provide a lot of food to the fishes, due to its location at the river mouth. Sediments flowing from the middle zone and upper zone of the river will accumulate at this point, creating an area full of food sources. Moreover, the presence of emerged and submerged plants also provided habitat and protection area for the fishes, while slow flowing water promoting the colonization of fishes in this 35

7 pond. All of these factors support our finding for the highest presence of fish species in this sampling site, with six species. However, all of the fishes found in this pond were commonly found in lakes and their presence in Temenggor Lake has been reported by Hashim et al. (2012b), with the exception of M. nigriceps. Indeed, the presence of various fish species in this small pond was also expected, due to the fact that this pond becomes a part of Temenggor Lake when the water level increases. Even when the water level was low during this time, the water from this pond is still directly connected to site 1 and further to Temenggor Lake, while its depth depending on the water volume of the lake. Previous reports showed that M. nigriceps was absent in this area, while P. fasciata was commonly found in Temenggor Lake, but never recorded in Sungai Enam (Hashim et al. 2012a, 2012b). It is also interesting to note that only a single species of fish, namely P. smedleyi was discovered in site 3. This finding was related to the biology of the fish itself. This fish species is mostly found in the clear water with moderate to fast water flow. Its presence is also an indicator of good water quality in the area, due to the fact that this fish species requires a pristine and clear water quality in order to survive (Rainboth 1996). Previous study conducted in this river showed the consistence on the presence of this fish from 1993 to 2011, and has been found from the lower to the upper altitude zone of Sungai Enam (Ismail & Sabariah 1995; Hashim et al. 2012a). Ten different fish species has been identified from this study area, compared to 11 and 13 in 2004 and 2011, respectively (Hashim et al. 2012a, 2012b). Their sampling accuracy was higher due to the utilization of an electroshocker. However, the difference in the number of collected fish was insignificant compared to our study, owing to the fact that we extended our sampling area further downstream of Sungai Enam. Moreover, utilization of different sizes of gill and scoop nets and cumulative sampling period about 12 hours per day may affect our study results. CONCLUSION Even though with the short period of sampling time, lack of fishing equipments and indetermination the water quality at the sampling sites, we believed the presence of various fish species in Sungai Enam is indicative of very good water quality and its surrounding environment. Moreover, this first report on the presence of M. nigriceps and M. macrochirus in this study area will update the data and increased the fish diversity in this river. Thus, the 36

8 pristine condition of this river should be conserved as it provides a precious habitat for our native fish species in the future. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to thanks Pulau Banding Foundation for inviting UPM s researchers in participating this scientific expedition. REFERENCES Ambak, M.A., Isa, M.M., Zakaria, M.Z. & Ghaffar, M.A Fishes of Malaysia. Penerbit UMT, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. Chong, V.C., Lee, P.K.Y. & Lau, C.M Diversity, extinction risk and conservation of Malaysian fishes. Journal of Fish Biology 76: Harris, J.H The use of fish in ecological assessments. Australian Journal of Ecology 20: Hashim, Z.H., Md. Shah, A.S.R., Mohammad, M.S., Mansor, M. & Mohd. Sah, S.A. 2012a. Fishes of Sungai Enam and Sungai Telang in Temenggor Reservoir, Perak, Malaysia. Check List 8(1): Hashim, Z.H., Zainuddin, R.Y., Md. Shah, A.S.R., Mohd Sah, S.A., Mohammad, M.S. & Mansor, M. 2012b. Fish Checklist of Perak River, Malaysia. Check List 8(3): Md Akhir, M.Z Habitat heterogeneity and fish diversity in Temenggor river basin. B.Sc. Thesis. Pulau Pinang: Universiti Sains Malaysia. (Unpublished). Mohsin, A.K.M. & Ambak, M.A Freshwater Fishes of Peninsular Malaysia. Penerbit Universiti Pertanian Malaysia. Ismail, M.Z. & Sabariah, B Lake and river water quality as determinants of fish abundance at Temengor, Hulu Perak, Malaysia. Malayan Nature Journal 48: Rainboth, J Fishes of Cambodian Mekong. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations. Zainudin, M.R.Y Assessment of fish community distribution and composition in the Perak River in order to determine biological indicators for freshwater health. Master of thesis. Universiti Sains Malaysia. (Unpublished). 37

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