Lake Kyoga is one of the fresh water lakes that make up the great lakes region of Africa. It is a large shallow lake, dubbed the shallowest lake in Uganda, located in central Uganda north of Lake Victoria measuring only 914 m above sea level. The lake has finger like extensions with a surface area of 1,720 sq. km. Lake Kyoga’s average depth reaches 3 m; and its maximum depth is 5.7 m. On its way from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert, the Victoria Nile flows through the Lake Kyoga.
Extensions of this lake include Lake Kwania, Lake Bisina and Lake Opeta. These “finger-like lakes” are surrounded by marsh lands during rainy seasons. All lakes in the Lake Kyoga basin are shallow, usually reaching a depth of only eight or nine meters, while Lake Opeta forms a separate lake during dry seasons.
Lake Kyoga’s rich biodiversity include flora and fauna such as Hyppo Grass (Vossia Cuspidate), Cattail (Typha spp.), Cyperus Papyrus, Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiodes), and Water Lily (Nymphea spp.). Numerous large crocodile populations are also found in the lake and 46 different fish species live in Lake Kyoga with some endemic to this region.
The Nile Perch (Lates niloticus) was introduced into Lake Kyoga in the late 1950s to increase the fish production. The Nile Perch proliferation led to the almost complete extinction of many other native fish species, such as Synodontis victoriae, Schilbe mystus, Mormyrus kanumme, Barbus kiogae, Engraulicypris argentus, Tilapia variabilis, Tilapia esculenta, and Haplochromis macrodon.