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Rare Native Fish Found in Kenepuru Stream

Rare Native Fish Found in Kenepuru Stream

Shortjaw Kokopu found in Kenepuru Stream survey before being released – photo credit Kurt Mullis

A rare native fish, the Shortjaw Kokopu, has been found during a survey of streams in Porirua’s Bothamley Park.

Porirua City Council engaged ecological contractors, Wildland Consultants Ltd, to survey the native fish living in the streams within Bothamley Park and to identify fish passage barriers as part of the Bothamley Park restoration project.

“The discovery of a rare native fish in the park is exciting and shows the benefits of protecting streams and their margins,” says Leisure Assets and Services Manager Jonathan Gulland.

The survey was completed last Friday and Frances Forsyth from WEC Ltd said shortjaw kokopu was an unusual find for the Wellington region, particularly for an urban stream.

“Shortjaw kokopu is the rarest of the five whitebait species, usually found as only as solitary fish or in low numbers at any given site. The other whitebait species are inanga, banded kokopu, giant kokopu and koaro.”

Because shortjaw kokopu has been so rarely encountered, little is known about its life history. The only other record for this fish in an urban stream in Wellington is for Kaiwharawhara Stream in 2004.

“It is heartening to make this find and to note that there are also populations of a number of other native fish species in streams throughout the park,” Frances says.

“This rare find is a reminder for Porirua residents that the only thing that should go down stormwater drains in the street and on their property is rainwater,” says Jonathan. All stormwater drains feed into the city’s streams and out to Porirua Harbour so contaminants like paint, car wash suds and dirt should never be washed or poured down these drains.


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