Nowadays, the successful management of small scale fisheries requires the use of biometric data collected in the field, in order to transform them into suitable indicators. The present study describes the length- weight relationships for 36 freshwater fish species from two tropical reservoirs Ayame I and Buyo, in Côte d’Ivoire. The main objective of the study was to provide a length weight key for a wide range of freshwater fish species from these tropical reservoirs exploited by the inland fisheries. The samplings were carried out at Buyo from July 1997 to August 1998, and from August 2004 to July 2005 in Ayame I. Fish specimens were collected from catches of artisanal fisheries using gill-nets, cast-nets, beach seines and bamboo traps. After landings, samples were identified, total weight for each specimen was recorded to the nearest gram and standard length was measured to the nearest millimetre. A total of 12 724 individuals belonging to 15 families and 24 genera were obtained in this study. The results indicated that the family with the highest number of species was Cichlidae with eight species. Six families were recorded with only one species per family. The value of the exponent b in the length weight relationships (W=aLb) ranged from 2.173 for Marcusenius furcidens to 3.472 for Polypterus endlicheri and the median of b was 2.756. The modal value of the exponent b equal to 2.70 indicates that most of the fish species in Ayame I and Buyo Reservoirs have negative allometric growth. The length weight parameters of the three species, Lates niloticus, Synodontis koensis and S. punctifer are described for the first time in these regions. The present length-weight key for 36 freshwater fish species could be used as a valuable tool for fishery managers, in order to improve the inland fisheries statistics largely based on hydropower reservoirs in Côte d’Ivoire.
Keywords: length weight relationship, freshwater fish, tropical reservoirs, côte d’ivoire, west africa