Length-weight relationship and morphometric and meristic variation in Dinnawah snowtrout, Schizothorax progastus, inhabiting the Suru River and its tributaries of Kargil, Ladakh Region
Morphometric variations across fish stocks have long been acknowledged as useful for determining population structure and identifying stocks. Schizothorax progastus (McClelland) is a common, dominant fish in most cold-water rivers and is considered a good sport fish and also delicious in taste. For the people of Ladakh, this fish is a significant source of nutrition. A total of 70 specimens were collected for this study. A total of 24 morphometric and six meristic characters were studied, with 18 morphometric characters assessed as percentages of total length and four characters analyzed as percentages of head length. Standard length and fork length had the strongest correlations with total length at 0.98 and 0.99, respectively. Overall, the findings demonstrated that all morphometric features had linear correlations and exhibited a high degree of association (P < 0.05). The meristic counts examined in this study were consistent among all fish of various sizes, suggesting that body size had no effect on them. The biological information generated from this study serves as an essential guideline for future management and conservation of S. progastus, an important food source in the Ladakh, Trans Himalayan region.