13 February 2012
Manawatu’s native fish can now swim freely
Native fish within the Manawatu catchment can now swim freely, thanks to the installation of a number of fish ladders
and fish ropes.
As part of work for the Manawatu River Accord, Horizons Regional Council has installed 10 fish ladders and two fish
ropes throughout the catchment, at sites ranging from around Ekatahuna, through to Woodville and across to Shannon and
Foxton. Fish ladders are planned for a further four sites.
These sites have been selected according to the number and conservation status of fish that are likely to benefit, and
the amount of habitat that will be made available to them upstream.
The fish ladders, made of fiberglass, may benefit a number of native species including Inanga, Giant kokopu, Banded
kokopu, Koaro, Shortjaw kokopu, Torrent fish , Shortfin and Longfin eel and a number of Bully species.
Furthermore, fish such as Banded kokopu and Koaro are also very good climbers and it has been discovered they are able
to clamber up mussel rope (used in mussel farming). To aid their movement, Horizons has used ropes in the Kahuterawa as
there are a lot of Kokopu in that catchment.
“Many native New Zealand fish spend part of their life cycle at sea and migrate into and out of freshwater. Obstructions
such as perched culverts, weirs and dams can stop them swimming upstream, restricting the amount of habitat available to
them,” says Horizons environmental scientist, Carol Nicholson.
“By building fish ladders in the Manawatu catchment we hope to increase the distribution and abundance of native fish in
No fish ladders will be installed at sites which could allow trout access to upstream areas, where they would place
native fish populations at risk.