Indus River Demersal Habitat
This taxon is one of the native demersal fish taxa that are found in the Indus River system. Major tributaries of the Indus rise in the Himalayan Mountains and the Hindu Kush; these influent rivers include the Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi and Sutlej. The Indus mainstem rises on the Tibetan Plateau and flows generally westward.
Generally the Indus sustains slower velocities with a wider channel as the river approaches its delta on the Arabian Sea. The Indus transports massive amounts of silt generated by human disturbances in its watershed as well as the torrential monsoonal rain events. Water quality issues in the Indus Basin have historically been dominated by sediment loading in a watershed which is subject to high natural erosivity, and early disturbance by sedentary agriculture on the floodplains and valleys. Beginning in the twentieth century, water pollution has been aggravated by massive water withdrawals for agriculture that have then concentrated pollutants.
The Green Revolution has exacerbated water pollution by considerable additions of nitrate to promote crop growth. Other aggravating factors have included increasing amounts of herbicides and pesticides, as pressures to increase crop production expand. Flow of the perennial Indus is dominated by: (a) meltwaters from the Tibetan icefield, the third largest ice sheet formation in the world; (b) snowfall and snowmelt from higher elevation of the watershed; and (c) episodic monsoonal rains that lead to periodic flooding in the basin.
Some of the arge native demersal fish associates in the Indus Basin are the 70 centimetre (cm) scaly osman (Diptychus maculatus), the 30 cm reba (Bangana ariza), the 30 cm Indus snowtrout (Ptychobarbus conirostris), the 30 cm Kunar snowtrout (Schizothorax labiatus), the 35 cm false osman (Schizopygopsis stoliczkai), the 47 cm Chirruh snowtrout (Schizothorax esocinus), and the 40 cm Sattar snowtrout (Schizopyge curvifrons).
Life History and Behavior
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