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3 Aug 2018

Banded kokopu spawning in Pipers Park

Work to improve fish habitat in our urban stream is paying dividends, with the first record of banded kokopu eggs found in Pipers Park Reserve, a tributary of the Maitai catchment.

The spawning record is particularly exciting because it occurred within Nelson city, in a creek where fish passage and riparian planting work was undertaken in 2015 to improve fish habitat.

The eggs were found during a survey for koaro and banded kokopu spawning sites. Banded kokopu prefer shady streams with overhanging vegetation and grasses, and are rarely found in urban streams. They favour grassy banks alongside the stream for spawning.

The banded kokopu is one of five whitebait species that occurs in the Nelson region. All the whitebait species have limited distribution in the region due to habitat loss.

Mayor Rachel Reese, the co-chair of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, said that the result is a pleasing endorsement for Council’s freshwater habitat improvement programmes.

“It’s great to see that the work on Pipers Park has improved habitat to the point that native fish are spawning there. Investing in our environment is a priority and I’m looking forward to seeing more of these results as we continue to support our native species and their precious habitats.”

Council’s freshwater and biodiversity programmes – Healthy Streams and Nelson Nature – are seeking to restore habitat through fish passage and water quality improvements and riparian planting.