Fishing of Madhya Pradesh

Fishing of Madhya Pradesh

  • Madhya Pradesh is the largest geographic unit of the country. Except for the valleys of the Narmada and Tapti, Madhya Pradesh is mainly plateau land, with a mean elevation of 488 m above sea level, interspersed with mountains of the Vindhya and the Satpura ranges.
  • With an average rainfall of 76 to 150 cm, the State gives birth to four great rivers of the country, viz., Narmada, Tapti, Mahanadi, and Mahi and it also contains sub-catchments of the Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari and Brahmani rivers.
  • Rivers originating from the highlands of Madhya Pradesh drain out in three different directions.
  • The great Narmada basin with its mainstream runs across the State from east to west, receiving tributaries on either side.
  • The rivers Chambal, Betwa and Son descend from the northern slopes of the Vindhyas, feeding the Ganga river system.
  • The Mahanadi flows eastwards and the Tapti cuts across the State diagonally in a southwesterly direction to enter the Bay of Bengal.
  • The rivers, tributaries, rivulets and streams in the State have a combined legth of 12 000 km.
  • During the monsoons, all the rivers in Madhya Pradesh turn into raging torrents, carrying enormous quantities of water.
  • During the dry season, they shrink to rivulets.
  • Thus, harnessing of water for irrigation and power generation is more relevant in the State, than anywhere else in India and its track record in tapping the water resources has been impressive.


  • Madhya Pradesh, with its 0.46 million ha of reservoirs, has the maximum waterspread under man-made lakes of all Indian States.
  • Gandhisagar reservoir is the second largest reservoir (in area) in the country, next only to the Hirakud of Orissa.
  • However, the State is all set to top the table when the proposed Narmadasagar reservoir (91 348 ha) becomes a reality.
  • The State Fisheries Department of Madhya Pradesh does not have an account of all man-made water bodies.
  • The enumeration is especially poor in respect of the small reservoirs.
  • However, the Statistics Wing of the State Fisheries Department maintains records on total area under different categories of inland water bodies by districts.
  • The Department has classified the inland water bodies into four size groups, ,
  1. <10 ha,
  2. 10 to 500 ha,
  3. 501 to 1 000 ha
  4. > 1 000 ha.
  • The water bodies less than 10 ha in size are ponds and small tanks which are excluded from the purview of this study.
  • The remaining three categories, by and large, comprise man-made impoundments, with very few exceptions.
  • Among them, the second and third groups together represent small reservoirs (<1 000 ha), as defined in this study.
  • Reservoirs of the fourth group include both medium and large reservoirs.
  • Within limitations of the available data, an attempt has been made to separate various categories of impoundments and place them under the present classification.
  • The small, medium and large reservoirs in the State are estimated at 172 575, 169 502 and 118 307 ha respectively with a total of 460 384 ha.
  • Raipur district with 11 327 ha and Guna with 7 310 ha have the largest areas under small reservoirs, while Narasingpur, (552 ha), Hoshangabad (861 ha) and Khandwa (814 ha) have the least. The five large reservoirs of the State are in Raisen, Mandsaur, Jabalpur, Chindwara and Raipur districts, while 19 districts have medium reservoirs.
  • Description of 32 reservoirs comprising 6 small, 21 medium and 5 large, covering a total area of 173 901 ha, is available. The average size of these small, medium and large reservoirs is 350, 2 527 and 23 661 ha respectively.
  • Fish production trends are available for 25 reservoirs, 20 of which belong to the medium category.
  • The Sarni reservoir (1 012 ha) in the district of Betul, producing 61.95 t of fish (61.21 kg ha-1) is the most productive medium reservoir, followed by Kolar (40.0 kg ha-1) and Maniyari (25.75 kg ha-1). Bhimgarh (0.51 kg ha-1) and Manoharsagar (1.13 kg ha-1) have the poorest yield.
  • The three large reservoirs, , the Gandhisagar, Barna and Totladoh for which catch data are available, produce 9.21, 13.40 and 60.80 kg ha-1respectively.
  • Yields of only two small reservoirs, , the Govindgarh (59.64 kg ha-1) and Loni (28.99 kg ha-1) are known.
  • Commensurate with the size of the resource and its pivotal role in inland fisheries development, reservoirs of Madhya Pradesh received considerable research attention, compared to other States. Excepting Tamil Nadu, no other State has subjected as many reservoirs to scientific research as Madhya Pradesh did.
  • At least 16 reservoirs find a place in the literature dealing with some aspects or another, be it ecology or fisheries management.
  • Some reservoirs like Gandhisagar, and Ravishankarsagar are well researched. Efforts have been made in the State to develop the reservoir fisheries on scientific lines.

Govt. of Madhya Pradesh – Fisheries Sector

  • Inland fishery is an integral component of rural development programme in Madhya Pradesh. It is gaining increasing importance for its potential for employment and income generation.
  • It caters primarily to the needs of socio-economically weaker and backward communities of fishermen, scheduled tribes and scheduled castes, which constitute the poorest section of the society. Fish is an important source of protein rich food.


  • Madhya Pradesh possesses 3.43 lakh hectare of water area in the form of large, medium and small irrigation reservoirs, village’s ponds and private ponds.
  • The river and their tributaries form a network of 17088 Kms.
  • The tributaries of Ganges, Yamuna like Chambal, Betwa, Ken Sone and Sindh have their origin in the state.
  • Under NVDA some newly constructed reservoir having about 0.83813 lac ha.water area are also available for development of fishery activities.
  • For management of fisheries in the state, there are two main agencies who looks after the area under their control-
  1. Department of Fisheries along with FFDA’s caters needs of fishermen in NeGP-Agriculture Mission Mode Project Software Requirement Specifications Madhya Pradesh State Agricultural Portal form of their co-operative development, extension of fisheries activity management and development of fisheries activity in small water bodies up to 1000 ha.
  2. P Matsya Mahasangh controls big reservoirs having more than 1000 ha. average water area.
  • Fish culture activity in the state is culture-cum-capture technique, which required more consideration on stocking of fish seed, technology transfer to the ground level and assistance in creation of infrastructure for fishery developmental activities.
  • The irrigation reservoir, up to 2000 ha. were leased out for fish culture through 3 tire panchayat system as per the Government policy.
  • Presently, most of the reservoir with water area up to 2000 ha. are being developed by primary fishermen cooperatives societies.
  • But due to lack of adequate financial support, the leasees are not able to obtain optimum production of these reservoirs.
  • Fish production from village’s ponds is 1,500 Kg/ha/yr as compared to the national average of 2,180 Kg/ha/yr.
  • Per hectare production from irrigation reservoirs is 54 Kg / ha/yr is slightly higher in comparison to the national fish production of 49 Kg/ha/yr.

Information on fishery inputs by MP Govt.

This service aims at providing information on good practices for fish farming, efficient use of feed material etc, dealer network, quality control, fishermen safety, fish diseases, schemes for fishermen and fish production statistics, automation of fish seed grower registration, vessel registration, expert advice and mechanism for grievance management.


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