Monday, 9 May 2016

Electro Fishing

Last week, I was very lucky to spend 5 days with some Scientists from the Regional Council and NIWA out in the streams and rivers around Te Puke and Pongakawa areas catching fish using a method called electrofishing.

This fishing method pulses an electrical current into the water which stuns any fish in the vicinity.  They are only asleep for just enough time to catch them in a net that is draped across the water.

The fish are then placed gently in a bucket with some water to keep them alive, then identified, counted and measured before being returned safely to the water.

Identifying, counting and measuring fish in our waterways gives scientists a really good understanding of what is living in our streams and rivers, how far they are able to migrate as well as the quality of the water as some fish are VERY fussy about having clean habitats to live in.

Here is a picture of a massive eel we caught, measuring more than 1 metre.  Julian says it would be over 100 years old! As soon as she woke up she slithered out of the net and right back to her home under the stream bank.

Over the week we monitored the Ohineangaanga, Raparapahoe, the Kaikokopu (your stream Logan K), the Pongakawa River and the Wharere canal - plus a lot of small tributaries to these waterways.

A huge thank you to Rochelle and Julian for teaching me so much about our local fish.

Scientists really do have the best jobs!

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