From our past few articles, I am sure that everyone is aware about the importance of the gentle slope margin of a lake and how the shallow water birds benefit from it.
Now let us look at the same subject from a different angle.
Just like shallow birds, we have fishes who prefer the shallow, gentle sloping waters for breeding purposes. Why you ask?
Before we get into the specifics, have you all heard of a snakehead?
They are a specific type of a freshwater fish found commonly in Bangalore lakes. Their body is shaped like that of a snake’s. During the breeding time, the mother searches for a suitable space for welcoming her babies. This space is not randomly chosen.
The mother tends to choose shallow waters where there is enough vegetation. Vegetation provides the best safe space for her eggs and her fingerlings (when the fish babies are the size of our last finger) once they hatch. These eggs can either stick to the bottom or the sides of the aquatic leaves. Once the eggs hatch, the fingerlings are taken care of by the mother and at this time, she prefers the green bushes underwater as she can hide her babies in there from predators. She even carries her fingerlings in her own mouth without hurting any of them.
Mother Nature is amazing, isn’t she?
The gentle sloping waters allow for vegetation to grow thus providing a safe haven for the fish family. Now, when we have stone pitching around the whole lake, there is no chance of vegetation on the slopes and therefore, the breeding of so many fish species suffers. This then brings down the fish population.
Do you see how crucial it is to not intervene in Nature’s designs?
It is time that we spread the news. Bit by bit, we need to let the people realize the dangerous impact that we might be having on Nature’s delicate balance with our ignorant acts.
Join us on our journey Wake the Lake project as we fight to revive the dying lakes of Bangalore and its ecosystems.
We gratefully acknowledge the various inputs and insights provided by Dr. S Ravichandra Reddy towards the formulation of this article.