The phenotypic and microsatellite marker information of nine strains of catla (Catla catla) for growth trait was used to infer relationship within and between strains. This information helped in optimizing the proportion of individuals to be used from each strain while creating a base population for selective breeding. For this purpose, nine strains were collected from different sources and places of India namely West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Two riverine sources i.e. Ganga and Subarnarekha were also represented among the nine strains collected for base population. They were brought to Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA) at fry stage and reared separately till fingerlings. After passive integrated transponder tagging fingerlings were stocked in three communal ponds for one year culture. Live body weights were then measured and least square means were obtained after pond effect correction. A wide range of variation was observed among and between strains. Microsatellite markers were used to estimate genetic differences of different strains of catla using pair wise FST estimates. Overall multi locus FST, including all loci was estimated to be 0.4137 (P < 0.05), indicating genetic heterogeneity among them. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that, 58.63% of variation was due to within individual variation, 3.45% of variation was due to among individuals within strain and 37.92% was due to among strain variations. Both phenotypic as well as microsatellite data will be used to form a base population of catla with individuals from the stock having broad genetic variation for selective breeding programme.