Growth and production of the dominant pelagic fish, Acanthobrama terraesanctae, in subtropical Lake Kinneret, Israel

I. Ostrovsky, P. Walline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acanthobrama terraesanctae (local name lavnun), an endemic planktivorous cyprinid, dominates total fish numbers (>80%) in Lake Kinneret, and may have a significant top-down impact on the lake ecosystem. The length of young-of-the-year fish calculated from the yon Bertalanffy equation agreed with field observations of juvenile growth. An unusual bi-modal length-frequency distribution observed in May 1993 provided additional help in age identification. Males grew more slowly than females and reached a lower maximum length. Total mortality coefficients (exponents) of males and females > 12 cm (minimal legal size of fish in the catch) were similar (c. 1.52). An average cohort reaches maximum biomass during its second year. Maximum production is created at the end of the second year. The production: biomass ratio of the population was 1.16, and 36% of total lavnun standing stock was taken by fishing. From the late 1980s to early 1990s, when standing stock and population structure were stable, the average harvest of 1000 t was consistent with a total lavnun biomass of 2800 t, which constitutes 50-70% of the total fish stock measured acoustically in the lake. Such a biomass could be sustained by the known production of zooplankton. Absence of verified growth data for lavnun contributed to the collapse of the fishery in 1993, because it hampered timely revision of fishery policy in response to the drastic changes in the lavnun stock in 1992.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-32
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Population structure
  • Production
  • Size-specific growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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