An assessment of selected biology aspects of the two Yellowfish species Labeobarbus kimberleyensis and L. aeneus from the Orange-Vaal River system, using radio telemetry methods, South Africa.


Econ@UJ project


By: Linda Nel


This Yellowfish telemetry study is being undertaken by scientific specialists from Econ@uj a consortium of ecological scientists based at the Zoology department of the University of Johannesburg, with support from the Water Resource Commission and Flycastaway, in collaboration with the Orange-Vaal River Yellowfish Conservation and Management Association and Wag-‘n-Bietjie Ekoplaas.


Yellowfish (Labeobarbus spp.) are generally a cosmopolitan species which have ecological, economical and social importance. The inadequate understanding of the biological requirements of Yellowfish in the Vaal River has promoted this telemetry study, which has been designed to assist with the development of conservation protocols and management scenarios for river ecosystems.  This study aims to characterise the flow, depth and substrate requirements of the Yellowfishes in the Vaal River and to further characterise the general feeding and spawning biology of these species in the field.  This study involves tagging of twelve Orange-Vaal Largemouth and twelve Smallmouth Yellowfish (Labeobarbus kimberleyensis and L. aeneus) individuals in the Vaal River over a period of twenty four months. 


Adopt a yellowfish

Due to the nature of this type of research endeavour, a constant demand for financial resources has resulted in the concept of “adopt a Yellowfish”.  This entails the adoption (or purchasing) one of the tagged Yellowfish individuals being monitored in this study by private organisations or individuals.  Whilst being monitored over the 175 day period (battery life of the tag) specific information regarding the specific behaviour of tagged fish will be presented to the adopter of the fish being monitored.   Initially, the general information of the individual fish (size, weight health etc.) will be presented to the adopter and thereafter on a 3-4 weekly basis an overview of the recent behaviour and characteristics of the individual will be presented to the adopter.  Any additional information and photographs regarding related events in the study will be send to these adopters as well.  The funds raised will be reinserted into the study to further the current research endeavour.  For more information please visit


  The first adopted Orange-Vaal Largemouth Yellowfish by Mr. John Neaves, Fish Name: Jack Lemmon