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

 


A celebration of fish migration

May 23, 2014

A celebration of fish migration

Saturday 24 May is World Fish Migration Day, a subject close to the hearts of Horizons Regional Council’s freshwater management team.

The Horizons Region is home to 17 species of native freshwater fish and Council staff have been working in partnership with landowners, Wanganui District Council, and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to help these fish move freely through waterways.

“Many people don’t realise the diversity of fish life that inhabits our rivers and streams, particularly as many of them are nocturnal and so not easily seen” says Clare Ridler, Freshwater Coordinator for Horizons.

“Some of our native fish are really good climbers, others less so. We’ve been working with Wanganui District Council and our engineering team to determine the best solutions for rivers and streams where fish passage is compromised by culverts or flood protection works.”

A key focus of recent work has been in the Awarua Catchment – the stream that flows down by the State Highway at Marybank then goes under the road to the Airport before flowing into the Whanganui River.

The landowners downstream of the State Highway have been working with Horizons to fence off and replant their streamsides in native trees and shrubs. Wanganui District Council has also installed two fish passes with funding from the Whanganui River Enhancement Trust, with the goal that native fish should be able to move from the river up into a range of habitats.

Kritzo Venter, Wanganui District Council’s Senior Stormwater Engineer, says “the culverts on Wikitoria and Nepia Roads were perched which means they create a waterfall which many of our native fish are unable to climb. By putting in a rock ‘ramp’ and bracing it with concrete it allows a gentler slope with many resting areas behind rocks.

“This will help the fish with their migration up into the culvert and upstream.”

The project’s next step is to finalise a solution with NZTA to allow passage of fish along side the state highway using plantings to provide shade and protection.

Other measures put in place by Horizons to help fish swim freely in rivers and streams range from baffles created using rocks and mussel rope for fish to climb up, to weighted flood gates installed in areas such as Tangimoana where traditional flood gates are restricting fish movement.

Ms Ridler says the chosen solution is dependent on fish species, in-stream environment and the type of obstruction.

Native fish species found in the Horizons Region include: dwarf galaxids, brown mudfish, redfin bully, bluegill bully, lamprey, common bully, giant bully, torrentfish, smelt, longfin eel, shortfin eel, inanga, koaro, giant kokopu, banded kokopu and short jaw kokopu.

The latter five species make up the whitebait catch and over 90 percent of those caught are inanga.

Adult inanga lay their eggs in the dense long grass along stream banks during high tides in February and March. These eggs hatch during the next high tides and larvae are carried out to sea. Work has been underway locally by Horizons to search for and map these spawning zones, in order to protect the key areas for egg laying, which should help lead to more whitebait migrating back up.

“One key message is that if you find whitebait crawling up the side of the bucket holding your whitebait catch, please consider releasing these as they are likely to be koaro; one of the rarest of our whitebait species,” Ms Ridler says.

Horizons’ State of Environment report released in 2013 shows maps of sites where native fish have been found. It states that while additional populations of rare and threatened species were discovered during a survey in 2011, predictive modelling suggests there should be significantly more native fish in significantly more sites.

“We’re hoping to increase the awareness around native fish species and their migratory patterns, and World Fish Migration Day on Saturday is a great way to do this” Ms Ridler says.

Horizons is running a colouring competition to aid this awareness. Copies of the colouring competition are available from the Horizons website or by contacting Horizons’ freshwater team on toll free 0508 800 800.

The colouring competition has three age categories for entries: under 6, 6-9 and 9-12. Winners will receive native plants for their homes or schools and all entries must be in by 5pm Friday 30 May.

Horizons Regional Council, the Whanganui River Maori Trust Board,the Department of Conservation, commercial businesses and land owners are all part of Healthy Streams Whanganui, an initiative led by Wanganui District Council to to keep waterways clean. If you want to know more about the Healthy Streams project, please email kritzo.venter@wanganui.govt.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news