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Fabulous fish foray!

This week Rachel and Shelley had the great pleasure of working with our fabulous fish expert Paul Woodard at a special little stream in Torbay. Torbay Primary has just started monitoring here again with their new enviro teacher Rebecca Buchanan and her wonderful group of boys. Ross, Murray and Jill from the Long Bay Great Park Society also came along for the session. They have been regularly monitoring streams in the area for the past ten years.

At the school's first field session we saw some fish swimming around but they were too wily for us to catch! So we called in the expert. Paul and Shelley set special fish traps called gee minnows the night before. To our delight we found two traps with fish and in one trap alone there were nine fish! We quickly identified them as Banded Kokopu (Galaxias fasciatus). The main distinguishing feature, and the reason behind the name fasciatus, is the well defined vertical bands found on their sides and over the back of their body. Banded Kokopu are endemic (found only in New Zealand), are relatively common and are not listed as threatened. They are exceptional climbers and do not have scales but have a thick leathery skin covered in mucous.

These Banded Kokopu have to travel to the stream through a culvert which is choked up with Trandescantia (wandering jew) and a large amount of woody debris. We will be organising a rubbish clean up to clear the litter and the debris around the culvert making it easier for the little guys to get through. 

Fish expert Paul Woodard talks to groups about Banded Kokopu

Banded Kokopu