The ability to age fish accurately is essential in understanding the dynamics of fish population. Age and growth determination in Mastacembelus armatus was assessed by the scale method which was verified by the length-frequency distribution method. The scales were small, elongated and the focus was shifted slightly uppish from the centre. The fish length and scale radius relationship was found linear (Scale radius = 6.974 + 0.452 Fish length; r = 0.9746) and authenticated the age analysis. Back calculation method was used to find out the size of fish at annulus formation, which confirmed four age rings in M. armatus at the size of 14.07±0.92, 26.05±4.99, 37.96± 2.59 and 48.48±6.06 cm respectively. First two age rings were observed in the fish length group 30-40 cm, the third ring was observed in 40-50 cm and the fourth ring in 50-60 cm length group. The finding was dully validated by length-frequency distribution method. The growth annual increment (h) of M. armatus shows that the length increment was 14.07, 13.32, 11.91 and 10.52 cm during 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year respectively. It shows that the fish grows continuously during its entire life period. The average growth (? h) was observed as 12.12 cm. annually. The assessment of age and growth rate of fish is a prerequisite to generate the information on recruitment, longevity and fluctuations in fishery caused by various year classes which is an important tool for rational exploitation of fish stock.
Age and Growth, Scale, Length Frequency, Mastacembelus armatus, , Nayar
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