Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Whitebait don’t like muddy waters

17 August 2006

Whitebait don’t like muddy waters

The good news is the whitebait season is upon us. The bad news is that whitebait populations do not like muddy, turbid waters.

“Whitebait populations have declined since the early 1900s says,” Greater Wellington’s Pollution Control Officer, Nic Conland. “Over-fishing, the introduction of exotic fish species, and habitat change are all probable culprits. Another interesting observation is that juvenile fish prefer clean, clear rivers and streams rather than muddy ones,” says Mr Conland.

All whitebait species spawn in autumn, and around one month later, the newly hatched larvae are washed to sea where they spend their first six months. The annual spring migration, so eagerly anticipated by fishers, is the time when juvenile fish leave the sea to return to freshwater rivers and streams.

“Juvenile fish avoid returning to turbid streams, preferring instead clean, clear water,” says Mr Conland. “If rivers or streams are muddy for a prolonged period, there will be no re-stocking and fish populations will decline. Floods and slips can cause natural turbidity during storms, but man’s activities such as subdivisions and forestry can cause turbid conditions to persist for much longer periods. So we need to spare a thought for whitebait in small urban streams. Bulldozers working to clear land for housing can dramatically increase turbidity in nearby streams.”

“It’s difficult to manage the effects of flooding on water turbidity in rivers and streams but developers should seriously consider doing major earthworks outside the whitebait season,” says Mr Conland. “Greater awareness around the impact of earthworks on nearby streams will help the region’s whitebait numbers to restock and improve.”

The season runs from August until December and taking whitebait is permitted only between 5am and 8pm, or between 6am and 9pm during daylight saving. Only one whitebait net can be used at a time, and the net must meet strict size regulations. For further information on whitebaiting rules, the Department of Conservation has a useful summary available on its website www.doc.govt.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election