Lake Baringo is a freshwater lake in the eastern arm of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya It is located between latitude 0˚30’ N and 0˚45’ N and longitude 36˚ 00’ E and 36˚ 10’ E and lies approximately 60 Km north of the equator at an altitude of 975 m above sea level. It has a surface area of approximately 130 Km2 and a catchment of 6,820 Km2and a mean depth of 3.5 m with the deepest point being about 7 m at high water levels. The lake is hydrologically supplied with water by several fresh water inflows from the Mau and Tugen hills. Ecologically, the lake constitutes critical refuge for more than 500 avifaunal species and is a critical habitat for more than seven fish species of which Oreochromis niloticus baringoensis is endemic to the lake. In addition it is home for many species of animals such as hippopotamus (Hippopoptamus amphibious), crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) and frogs. The lake also harbours a number of macrophyte species that include the invasive species Water Hyacinth.
To alleviate losses due to spoilage, modified kilns have been introduced and currently have become popular in usage.
- Monitoring of fish stocks and fish catches;
- Monitoring of aquatic weed infestation (Water hyacinth in Lake Baringo, in-flowing rivers, Lake 94);
- Monitoring impacts of established demarcated fish breeding areas
- Monitoring Limnological Characteristics of Lake Baringo, in-flowing rivers, Lake 94.
Highlights of past achievements
- Baseline information on the biology, ecology and fisheries of Lake Baringo;
- Preliminary biomass estimates of the fish stocks;
- Time series information on catch trends and fishing effort to inform management actions;
- Limnological status of Lake Baringo, including water level fluctuations;
- Assessment of socioeconomic importance of the lake and wetlands to the wellbeing of riparian communities;
- Information on the distribution of critical fish habitats indicating breeding and fishing grounds;
- Assessment of post harvest fish losses so as to introduce appropriate technology for adoption.
Opportunities at the Station
Aquatic research on Lake Baringo offers great opportunities for collaboration due to the little understood ecosystem. Thus far, though inconclusive, areas of collaboration have largely focussed on hydrology, macrophyte dynamics, fishery production and post-harvest technology. We welcome collaborative research to conclude these areas and open other hitherto unexplored areas.
KMFRI has partnered with the County Government of Baringo to seek solutions to the low level of catches and threats caused by the invasive weed, Water Hyacinth. Other partners, especially development partners have been involved in funding cage culture trials in attempts to boost fishery production.
We welcome attachment for students at the national and local levels from Universities, middle level Colleges and other tertiary institutions to enable acquisition of practical skills.
Researchers in Baringo Station
Dr. Cyprian Odoli
Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute
Baringo Research Station
P.O. Box 31
Tel: +254 (053) 51414 or Mobile +254 722 395764
Kampi Samaki, KENYA