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Protect NZ's native fish

NZ's native freshwater fish have very limited protection.  The only species that enjoys real protection is the grayling - which had been extinct for a long time.

Why have 400 plus banded kokopu disappeared?

Early in 2012, over 400 individually identified banded kokopu disappeared from the Le Roys Bush stream above the waterfall.
The cause at this stage is not known although possible causes include:
  • Pollution from sewage overflows, swimming pools, road run-off
  • Siltation from erosion filling up pools
  • Excessive runoff causing high levels of flooding
Existing controls should be preventing most of these causes. 

It is too early to know if the whitebait season will see re-population of the pools above the waterfall. It is believed the whitebait form of kokopu follow the adult scent up the stream to climb the waterfall and then continue their lives in the upper reaches of the streams.  Will this happen if the adult population has been wiped out.

If you would like to join a campaign to improve water quality and protect our native fresh water fish, please get in touch with us.

Kokopu and Inanga habitats need protection

Hundreds of native trout (mature whitebait) such as the kokopu and inanga are living in Le Roys Bush and Waiurutoa (Kauri Glen).  However they are at risk from contamination of the water and from building development.  For example an application has been made for intensive housing in Park Road by Kauri Glen which will destroy stream habitat where kokopu can breed.

You can raise your voice in favour of protecting fish habitats which provide the breeding ground for whitebait.

Click here to read an article about an appeal by Mike Joy to protect 4 species of whitebait (27 July 2012)

NZ's native eels are at risk 

Their breeding pattern is almost the reverse of the salmon.  They live in fresh water till maturity then swim thousands of miles into the Pacific Ocean where they lay millions of eggs in one release before they die.

Over the last 100 years 90% of wetland habitats have been destroyed across NZ.  Barriers to upstream and downstream migration have been seriously affected.

MFish recommends that recreational fishers:

  • Release eels if not taken for food;
  • Ensure eels returned to the water are unharmed;
  • Consider returning larger eels to the water;
    • shortfin eels above 60 cm (approximately 0.5 kg);
    • longfin eels above 75 cm (approximately 1.3 kg).
For more information about eels, recreational catch controls and eel protection:
(The recreational bag limit is 6 eels per person per day and a person may only use one fyke net to take eels - as one expert has commented, if anyone took their limit, there would be unlikely to be any eels left in Le Roys to grow to maturity and spawn. Maybe there is a case for making Le Roys Bush a no-take area?).

New Zealand Freshwater Fish Database

The New Zealand Freshwater Fish Database (NZFFD) records the occurrence of fish in fresh waters of New Zealand, including major offshore islands. The database is stored in an EMPRESS Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) at NIWA Wellington. Data stored include the site location, the species present, their abundance and size, as well as information such as the fishing method used and a physical description of the site. 

To explore further go to: