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Paper I

325

Revival of Periyar- Study paper submitted by the scientists

Restoration of fish habitat, ecosystem and Fisheries of downstream part of Periyar river.

By Dr.Madusoodanakurupu (School of Industrial fisheries , CUSAT)

Status:

The results of the recent studies conducted on the habitat and fishery of the

downstream part stage in terms of

of its

the Periyar lake revealed that these regions almost reached a moribund physical environment and ecological conditions. The assessment on the

health status of this river stretch was made by the widely as physical habitat quality (HQ), water quality, diversity

and globally acclaimed indices such indices and index of biotic integrity

(IBI) . The various indices were prepared on the Habitat quality was worked out on the basis of physical state of environment of the river which is

basis of 68 physico chemical parameters, 48 parameters which is indicative of the the net stock of man induced perturbations

in the river such as intensity of soil erosion, nature of and width/depth ratio etc which was as low as 20, thus a healthy river system these values should score more On the other hand, the water quality index worked

substratum, in stream cover, sinuosity belonging to the poorest category. For than 50 as per international standards. out on the basis of 20 water quality

parameters was concentration of

as high as 202 which is trace and heavy metals,

indicative of its high polluted nature Total residues, high coliform bacterial

due to high load, acidic

nature,

etc;.

While

comparing

with

the

ICMR

standards,

this

water

is

not

fit

for

domestic

consumption. wealth of this

The study also revealed the heavy loss incurred to fish biodiversity and fishery water body with in a span of 20 years. Most importantly, the index of biotic

integrity (IBI) which is used as a tool to habitat quality, which is further used to

express the relationship between fish community and assess the health status of the rivers, was found to be

at rock bottom level of satisfactory correlation

around 15 in the study area between habitat quality and

which is far below of 40 which fish habitats. The extreme low

denotes a IBI score

of the where

study area are clear cut manifestations of a high normally imbalanced trophic community structure

contaminated and degraded can generally occur.

habitat

Action plans for the restoration of aquatic ecosystem, fish habitat , fish biodiversity and fisheries.

  • 1.

    Strengthening of data base is found essential on the following aspects:

    • 1.

      Water and soil quality, flow velocity, water balance structure, sediment transportation

    • 2.

      Habitat parameters given below at every 500 m interval: Sinuosity, Entrenchment ratio, Slope, W/d ratio, Shrub cover along bank, Tree cover along bank

Bare ground along bank Fines Gravels Cobbles Boulders Rock Bedrock Turbulance

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