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Maharashtra, the third largest State of the Indian Union, both in population and geographical area, is surrounded by the Arabian Sea in the West, Andhra Pradesh in the southeast, Karnataka in the south, Gujarat in the northwest and Madhya Pradesh in the north. The State has three distinct physiographical regions, viz., the coastal belt (Konkan), the Western Ghats and the eastern plateau. The tall hills of the Western Ghats run parallel to the coastline of 720 km. The 80 km wide (average) strip of land between the Western Ghats and the sea known as Konkan, is one of the richest alluvial plains, receiving an average annual rainfall of 200 cm. The region east of the hills is a vast plateau land drained by the Godavari, Bhima, and Krishna which originate in the Western Ghats and flow eastward across the Indian peninsula into the Bay of Bengal. The rainshadow areas of the eastern Maharashtra receive rainfall of 60 to 75 cm a year or even < 50 cm in certain areas. A characteristic feature of these low rainfall districts such as Nasik, Dhule,Jalgaon, Sangali and Solapur is the traditional small irrigation impoundments. The landscape of the plateau is dotted with thousands of such small reservoirs created to tap the surface drainage (Fig. 6.1).


The State Fisheries Department of Maharashtra does not keep a list of reservoirs. Nevertheless, it has information on the total area under four different categories of water bodies, viz., <10 ha, 11 to 500 ha, 501 to 1 000 ha and >1 000 ha (Table 6.1). The water bodies below 10 ha in size have been considered as of aquaculture systems and have not been included under man-made lakes. Details of the three other categories have been presented after reclassifying them as per the format followed in this report. The small reservoirs(<1 000 ha)in Maharashtra occupy 119 515 ha (44%), out of the total 273 750 ha. Among the remaining 152 205 ha, the large reserviors (>5 000 ha)constitute 115 054 ha, the other 39 181 ha falling under the medium (1 000 to 5 000 ha) category (Table 6.2).

Information on 33 reservoirs has been gathered from Srivastava et al.(1985), Lonkar (1992) and a number of publications cited elsewhere. The eight large reservoirs in the State are Jayakwadi (39 777 ha) in Aurangabad district, Ujjaini (29 000 ha)in Solapur district, Shivsagar (11 216 ha) in Satara district, Yeldari (9 472 ha) and Darna (7 500 ha) in Parbhani district, Itiadoh (7 345 ha) in Bhandara district, Girna (5 420 ha) in Nasik district and Mula (5 324 ha) in Ahmednagar district (Table 6.3). Out of the 39 181 ha of medium reservoirs, the 17 listed in Table 6.3 cover an area of 38 860 ha. Details of only eight small reservoirs with a total waterspread of 4 302 ha are available.

Production figures in respect of 23 reservoirs are available (Tables 6.3 and 6.4), on the basis of which, the yield is estimated at 11.11 kg ha-1. Minor fishes form a substantial component of the catch in most of the reservoirs, irrespective of the size of the water bodies or the river systems to which they belong. This indicates some lapse in the management of fish populations. In Pawana, Pus, Saikheda, Panset and Shivsagar reservoirs, the minor carps contribute 75 to 95% of the total catch.

The small reservoirs have the highest average yield (28.68 kg ha-1), followed by the medium (14.44 kg ha-1) and large (10.21 kg ha-1) (Table 6.4).

Table 6.1. Districtwise area estimates of different categories of water bodies in Maharashtra
Name of the districtArea under reservoirs and lakes
500–1 000
>1 000 haTotal
Greater Bombay200--200
Bombay Suburban-   
Thane2 4878002 2745 561
Nashik3 7001 8855 00010 585
Dhule3 317737-4 054
Jalgaon9 3721 3166 50017 188
Ahmednagar3 23863212 07515 945
Pune3 02690413 41717 347
Satara1 9956799 00211 676
Sangali4 2771 015-5 292
Solapur4 7521 50920 55126 812
Kolhapur1 1436171 2042 964
Aurangabad3 37280242 88747 061
Jalna2 997586-3 583
Parbhani2 1904558 84611 491
Beed1 7691507 8009 719
Nanded3 809-1 5605 369
Osmanabad3 0221 221-4 243
Latur4 4881 061-5 549
Buldhana4 1261 467-5 593
Akola4 4021 215-5 617
Yavatmal2 9671189 59512 680
Amravati1 370--1 370
Wardha1 7061 131-2 837
Nagpur4 9581 1981 6057 761
Bhandara8 1621 4196 69316 274
Chandrapur5 3991 0085 22611 633
Gadchiroli3 650414-4 064
Total97 17622 339154 205273 750

Table 6.2. Area under different categories of reservoirs in Maharashtra
CategoryArea at FRL (ha)
<1000 ha119 515
1 000–5 000 ha39 181
>5 000 ha115 054
Total273 750

Table 6.3. Details on selected (investigated) reservoirs of Maharashtra
Name of the reservoirArea at FRL (ha)Name of the riverProduction (t yr-1)Catch composition (%)
Major carpsLocal majorLocal minor
Jayakwadi39 777Godavari2054550
Ujjaini29 000Bhima70519--
Shivsagar11 216Bhagwati----
Yeldari9 472Purna2980-20
Darna7 500Darna----
Itiadoh7 345Gadhvi40802060
Girna5 420Girna----
Mula5 324Mula----
Erai4 250Erai453592
Sidheswar3 360Purna10203050
Ghod3 200Ghod----
Pench2 791Pench4335560
Bhatghar2 800Yelwandi13.543759
Manar2 640Manar25405010
Chankapur2 635Girna----
Gangapur2 400Godavari----
Pawana2 360Pawana255 95
Dhom2 306Krishna----
Bhandardara1 822Pravara21122266
Laxmi1 813Bhagawati----
Khadakwasla1 472Muthai25156520
Katepurna1 350Katepurna3---
Bor1 334Bor53232552
Panset1 252Mishi1010585
Pus1 075Pus4020575

n - Negligible (After Srivastava et al., 1985; Lonkar. 1992)

Table 6.4. Yields of some reservoirs of Maharashtra
NameDistrictArea (ha)Year of constructionYield (kg ha-1)
JayakwadiAurangabad39 77719750.50
UjjainiSolapur29 000197824.3
ShivsagarSatara11 2161963-
YeldariParbhani9 47219623.06
Darna-7 5001915 
ItiadohBhandara7 345197013.00
GirnaNasik5 420--
MulaAhmednagar5 324191011.52
Average yield of large reservoirs
EraiChandrapur4 250198311.00
SidheswarParbhani3 36019622.98
GhodPune3 200--
PenchNagpur2 791197628.00
BhatgharPune2 80019284.82
ManarNanded2 64019699.47
Chankapur-2 6351973 
GangapurAurangabad2 4001957-
PawanaPune2 360197110.56
DhomSatara2 300--
BhandardaraAhmednagar1 822191011.52
LaxmiKolhapur1 813--
KhadekwaslaPune1 472193816.98
Katepurna-1 35019702.22
BorWardha1 334196530.62
PansetPune1 25219597.99
PusYavatmal1 075197037.20
Average yield of medium reservoirs
Average yield of Small reservoirs

n= negligible (After Srivastava et al., 1985; Lonkar, 1992)


Dhom is primarily an irrigation reservoir created by damming the mainstream of the river Krishna at the village Dhom in Satara district. Situated at 17°5'N and 73°33'E, the 241 m long masonry dam impounds 382 million m3 of water at the FRL of 741.7 m above MSL. The reservoir has a catchment area of 217.55 km2 and the area at FRL is 2 306 ha. The two irrigation outlets of the dam have a discharge capacity of 26 m3 sec-1.

Trivedy (1993) places the reservoir under the oligotrophic category, based on the values of specific conductivity (usually within 50 to 90 μmhos), and COD(<20 mg 1-1). The level of dissolved oxygen is 5.6 to 12 mg 1-1, as against 12–15 mg 1-1, observed in organically enriched waters in the same area. Ammonia, calcium, sodium and potassium concentrations suggest oligotrophy but the high values of nitrogen and phosphorus point towards pollution. This is further confirmed by high values of organic matter and nutrients in the sediment phase. A mild faecal contamination is evident from the count of coliforms (4 to 63 100 ml-1).

Phytoplankton density is a low 416 to 8 128 units 1-1. Other water bodies in the area have counts of several thousands. Trivedy (op. cit.)suggests that the water body is slowly getting mesotrophic and heading for eutrophy. Chlorella, Navicula, Nitzschia, Synedra and Phormidium figuring in the Palmer's list of 60 pollution-tolerant genera in the world form a substantial part of the planktonic algae. However, the most important genus in the reservoir is Raphidiopsis, a blue-green algae, usually recorded from unpolluted water bodies. Important zooplankters are Keratella sp., Keratella serrulata, and Notholca sp.


Situated near Bhor village in Pune district, the Bhatghar dam, erected in 1928 across the river Yelwandi at 18° 10'N and 73°52'E. The 1 625 m long dam created a water body that covers up to 2 800 ha at FRL and shrinks to 1 500 ha at the lowest level. The full still level is 626.28 m and the storage capacity, 672.64 million m3.

The river at the dam site has a catchment area of 336 km2. The maximum length of the reservoir and the mean depth are 45 km and 24.02 m respectively. The rate of inflow varies from 5.45 to 21.94 million m3 at an average of 12.86 million m3, the maximum yield being in the third quarter. All the outflowing channels together discharge 2.07 to 7.85 million m3of water (mean 5.32 million m3). The Central Inland Capture Fisheries Research Institute has conducted detailed studies on the reservoir during 1987 to 1992.

The soil of Bhatghar reservoir is sandy and neutral to alkaline in reaction. The soil quality is poor in terms of organic carbon (0.31 to 0.46%), available phosphorus (1.5 to 2.3 mg 100 g-1)and available nitrogen (15.5 to 22.2 mg 100 g-1). The low values of specific conductivity (38.5 to 79.1 μ mhos) indicate poor ionic concentration. Nevertheless, the calcium and magnesium concentartions seem to be good. The values of total hardness (mean)at the intermediate and lotic sectors are 130.42, 101.45 and 97.00 mg 1-1 respectively. Phosphate level at lentic sector is a high 0.36 mg 1-1 and the total alkalinity ranges from 10 to 36 mg 1-1.

The soil and water quality parameters do not indicate a high productivity, except for the high values of phosphate and total hardness. The reservoir is usually weakly stratified, with an oxyclione (8.4 mg 1-1 to 7.1 mg 1-1)at the bottom and increase in specific conductivity (58.2 to 63.5 μmhos) and total alkalinity (16 to 18 mg 1-1)towards the bottom.

Gross primary production rate varies from 20.83 mg C m-3 day -1 during July to 145 mg C m-3 day-1in November, an average of 71.20. The plankton community of Bhatghar reservoir confirms the oligotrophic nature of the water body. Total plankton count varies from 8 to 6 601 units 1-1, with Chlorophyceae, represented by Gonatozygon, Hormidium, Eudorina, Closteridium and Kirchneriella forming the major group. The blue-green algae, Microcystis aeruginosa and other taxa indicative of organic enrichment are present in small numbers. Diatoms (Navicula, Nitzchia, Syndera, and Surirella), Dinophyceae (Ceratium) and desmids (Staurastrum) are the other forms recorded.

The periphyton community is represented by 20 genera of diatoms, 14 green algae, 5 blue-green algae, 3 desmids and one genus of Dinophyceae. The reservoir harbours very little benthic invertebrate and macrophyte communities.


A total of 49 species of fishes have been recorded from the lake, belonging to 30 genera, representing 12 families.

Fisheries management

The State Fisheries Department has leased the fishing rights of the reservoir to the Gajanan Fisheries Cooperative Society of Bhor village. The Society has a total membership of 120. Nylon gill net is the chief fishing gear employed in the reservoir, which has a mesh bar range of 20 to 150 mm. A fishing unit comprises two fishermen and 10 to 15 units of gill nets of assorted mesh sizes. No boats are used.

Total fish landings from the reservoir during 1987 were estimated at 24.7 t, which declined to 12.7 t in 1988, 9 t in 1989 and 1990 and increased to 12.1 t during 1991 (Table 6.5). The mean fish production was 13.5 t and the yield 4.8 kg ha-1.

Table 6.5. Fish landings (kg) of Bhatghar reservoir
1.Catla catla14043264414201 0702141.50
2.Labeo rohita.917---2650.04
3.Cirrhinus mrigala3747271551842851 7253452.54
4.Tor khudree361851 02416881 5743152.32
5.Puntius dobsonii143427442--1 0122021.49
6.Wallago attu3681 1261 4401943183 4466895.08
7.P.kolus9 5744 667 1 7511 019 2 27819 2893 85828.45
8.Chela fulungee10 7265 5764 2541 7292 38624 6714 93436.39
9.Chelaspp.2 930--3 0953 3839 4081 84213.87
13.Miscellaneous154482 2002 3984 6659336.88
 Total24 70512 7229 2808 99912 10067 80613 520100.00

1 to 3 major carps, 4 to 6 local major, 7, 11, 12 local minor CICFRI Barrackpore

Based on the rate of primary energy fixation, a fish yield potential of 65 kg ha-1 has been estimated for Bhatghar reservoir. Accordingly, a stocking rate of 250 fingerlings ha-1 has been proposed, thereby necessitating a stocking of 700 000 fingerlings a year. However, the actual stocking over the years varied from nil to 482 000 at an average rate of 27 fry ha-1 (Table 6.6). In the absence of recruitment of fish stock, sustained stocking of adequate number of fingerlings holds the key for efficient management of the reservoir.

Table 6.6. Stocking of Bhatghar reservoir
YearNo. of fry stocked (in thousands)
Stocking rate ()27.5 ha-1



Yeldari reservoir is on Purna, a tributary of the Godavari. Draining a catchment area of 2 830 km2, the reservoir covers 9 472 ha at FRL and 600 ha during the lowest level. The maximum depth is 40.6m. Fish catch details of the reservoir from 1973–74 to 1977–78 are given in Table 6.7.

Table 6.7. Fish production trend in Yeldari reservoir
YearsMajor carpsMajor carps weighing <5 kg and other fishesTotal

Values in t (After Valsankar, 1980)

Stocking is done jointly by the local cooperative society and the State Fisheries Department. Fry of Indian major carps (10 mm to 25 mm size) werestocked during 1959–70 at an average rate of 0.3 million year-1.

Jayakwadi reservoir

The 39 777 ha Jayakwadi reservoir is the largest man-made lake of Maharashtra, formed by constructing a 10 200 m dam across river Godavari at Paithan in the district of Aurangabad. The river at the reservoir site has a fertile catchment area of 21 750 km2 (Desai, 1980). The reservoir produces 20 t fish per year, equivalent to 0.5 kg ha-1.

Bhandardara reservoir

One of the oldest reservoirs in Maharashtra, Bhandardara was impounded in 1910 across the river Pravara near Bhandardara village, a holiday resort in Ahmednagar district. The 1 822 ha reservoir shrinks to 259 ha during the dry season. The catchment area comprises of 121.37 km2 of hilly forested areas of the Western Ghats, receiving a rainfall of 544 cm annually. The climate is cool, being located at an altitude of 741.51 m above MSL. Velsangkar(1993) estimated an annual fish production of 21.23 t (11.5 kg ha-1)from the reservoir.

Major component (65.48%) of the landings is trash fish (13.9t), represented by Chelasp. Indian and exotic major carps, viz., Catla catla, Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus mrigala and Cyprinus carpio form 22.60% of the catch (4.8 t), followed by the mahseer, Tor khudree which contributes 11.92% (2.53 t).

Girna reservoir

Girna reservoir is located in the arid zone of the Malegaon Tahsil of Nashik district. The 5 420 ha reservoir has a storage capacity of 609 million m3, with maximum and minimum depths of 43 m and 10 m respectively. The catchment area of 4 279 km2 is hilly and it receives high rainfall (200 cm). On its way to the reservoir, water is stored in irrigation tanks, such as the Chankapur and Kelzar tanks. The reservoir was understocked in the past (Valsangkar, 1987). Arbitrary stocking was done during 1974–75, and 1977–78 by the State Government. Although regular stocking at the rate of 100 000 fish fry had been carried out by the local cooperative society since 1983–84, the stocking rate is inadequate. One significant feature of the Girna reservoir is the consistency of common carp fishery. Total fish production from the reservoir registered an increase from 73.35 t in 1980–81 to 117.58 t in 1985–86. The peak production was recorded in 1982–83 (222.5 t). Common carp has gained a steady foothold in the reservoir, perhaps at the cost of local major carps (Table 6.8). Valsangkar (op. cit.)attributes its success to the favourable conditions during the water renewal stage.

Table 6.8. Fish landing (t) in Girna reservoir
YearCommon carpLocal majorLocal minorTotal

(After Valsangkar, 1987)

Table 6.9. Salient features of some reservoirs of Maharashtra
Date of closure1928-
Area at FRL (ha)28002306
Mean depth(m)24.0216.6
Volume (million m3)672.64382.32
Catchment area336217.56
Elevation (m above MSL)626.28-
Annual level fluctuations (m)31-
Inflowing riversYelvandiKrishna
Total outflow (m3 sec.-1)45-
Latitude (N)18° 10'17° 5'
Longitude (E)73° 52'73°33'
Water temperature (°C)17.0–31.021–29.5
Transparency (cm)5–266-
DO(mg 1-1)2.0–16.05.6–12.2
CO2(mg 1-1)1.6–16.0-
Total alkalinity (mg 1-1)10.0–36.0-
Spec. cond. (μmhos)38.5–84.2550–90
Total hardness (mg 1-1)44.0–300.0-
Calcium (mg 1-1)-2.4–20.04
Phosphate (mg 1-1)tr.–0.36-
Silicate (mg 1-1)2.5–35.0-
Chlorides (mg 1-1)4.0–17.53.52–71
Gross primary production (mg C m-3 d-1)20.83–145.80-
Figure 7.1

Figure 7.1. Distribution of reservoirs in Madhya Pradesh

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