Rare white­bait

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

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.’’

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