During present study effect of shelter availability on growth performance of Clarias batrachus was evaluated in laboratory conditions. To quantify the growth performance, the change in mass and length over time was evaluated. The competition for shelter among fishes was observed. The fishes were forcing each other for shelter. Availability of shelter affected the growth performance of C. batrachus fish. Decrease in shelter availability was significantly reduced the growth performance of the C. batrachus. Present findings have important implications for habitat restoration. In the habitat assessments or stream restoration programmes, concept of shelter availability should be given attention to improve stream environments to maintain native fish diversity.