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 contractor Wildland Consultants 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,’’ said the council’s leisure assets and services manager, Jonathan Gulland.
Frances Forsyth of Wildland 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 solitary fish or in low numbers at any given site,’’ she said.
‘‘The other whitebait species are inanga, banded kokopu, giant kokopu and koaro.’’
Because shortjaw kokopu have been so rarely encountered, little is known about their life history.
The only other record of the fish in an urban stream in Wel- lington was in 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,’’ she said.
‘‘This rare find is a reminder that the only thing that should go down stormwater drains is rainwater.
‘‘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.’’