Lake Kyoga is a large shallow lake in Uganda about 1720km in area and at an elevation of 1033 metres. The Victoria Nile flows through the Lake on its way from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert. While Lake Kyoga is part of the Great Lakes system, it is not itself considered a great lake. The Lake reaches a depth of about 5.7 meters and most of it is less than 4 meters deep. Areas that are less than 3 meters deep are completely covered by water lilies while much of the swampy shoreline is covered with papyrus and water hyacinth. The papyrus also forms floating islands that drift between a number of small permanent islands.
Extensions of Lake Kyoga include Lake Kwania, Lake Bisina and Lake Opeta. These “finger lakes” are surrounded by swampland during rainy seasons. All lakes in the Lake Kyoga basin are shallow, usually reaching a depth of only eight or nine meters, and Lake Opeta forms a separate lake during dry seasons. Lake Kyoga has three different environmental zones: the open water deeper than 3 m; the water less than 3 m, which is covered completely with water lilies and water hyacinth; and the swamps mainly papyrus, which fringe the shoreline.
Forty- six species of fish are found in Lake Kyoga, some of them are endemic and Crocodiles are so many. The Nile Perch was introduced into Lake Kyoga in the late 1950s to increase the fish production. The Nile Perch profileration led to the almost complete elimination of many domestic fish species such as Synodontis victoriae, Engraulicypris argentus, Barbus kiogae, Tilapia esculenta, Tilapia variabilis, Mormyrus kanumme, Clarias mossambicus, Schilbe mystus and Haplochromis macrodon.
Lake Kyoga has enough water because of the two rainy seasons that is; from the months October to December and between March and May. In the dry period from December to February, the temperatures in the North of Uganda are higher than in the South. The lake is dotted with large islands of papyrus and water hyacinth mats (sudds). As a result of poor agronomic practices in the catchment area and siltation caused by the Victoria Nile, the sudds became habitable to fishermen around 1997-1998, thus continuously reducing the quality and quantity of the lake.
Lake Kyoga has a rich biodiversity. These include flora and fauna such as Cyperus Papyrus, Hyppo Grass, Cattail, Water Lily, Water Lettuce. Large crocodile populations are also found in the lake. The lake has a catchment area of about 75,000 sq. km. The main human activities in the Lake Kyoga basin are fishing, cultivation and livestock keeping. There are no industrial enterprises in the area, due to lack of grid or any other power connectivity.