2007/08 State of the environment fishery report [electronic resource] / compiled by Steven Ledington

By: Ledington, Steve.
Contributor(s): Environment Southland.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Southland Regional Council Publication ; No 2008-08.Publisher: [Invercargill, N.Z.] : Environment Southland, 2008Description: 55 p. : ill., map ; 30 cm.Subject(s): STREAMS | RIVERS | MOUNTAINS | FRESHWATER FISH | LAKES | WAIAU | MATAURA | APARIMA RIVER | LAMPREYS | BROWN TROUT | EELS | LONGFINNED EELS | SHORTFINNED EELS | TORRENTFISH | BLUEGILLED BULLY | INANGA | BULLIES | COMMON BULLY | REDFINNED BULLY | UPLAND BULLY | FLATHEAD | GALAXIIDAE | GALAXIAS | KOARO | GALAXIAS BREVIPINNIS | GALAXIAS MACULATUS | BANDED KOKOPU | KOKOPU | GALAXIAS FASCIATUS | FRESHWATER CRAYFISH | KOURA | ANGUILLA DIEFFENBACHII | ANGUILLA AUSTRALIS | GEOTRIA AUSTRALIS | GOBIOMORPHUS COTIDIANUS | GOBIOMORPHUS HUTTONI | GOBIOMORPHUS BREVICEPS | GOBIOMORPHUS HUBBSI | SALMO TRUTTA | GALAXIAS GOLLUMOIDES | SURVEYS | ORETI RIVER | SOUTHLAND | NEW ZEALANDHoldings: index record. Online resources: Click here to access online | Click here to access online Abstract: Over the 2007/08 summer, 16 rivers were electric-fished across the Southland region, as part of Environment Southlandαs first State of the Environment (SoE) fish monitoring programme. The aim of the survey was to take a snapshot of the distribution and abundance of fish species in Southland rivers and streams. Ten of the 16 survey sites were in reaches classified as lowland river types. Sites selected this year were mainly within the Mataura, Oreti and Aparima River catchments. A total of 13 fish species, plus the freshwater crayfish Paranephrops zelandicus were recorded during the 2007/08 survey. At some sites, bully and galaxiid species were described to the lowest taxonomic level possible, as there was some difficulty in identifying them fully. Longfin eel were the most widespread of all species caught, being found at three-quarters of all sites (12 sites). Brown trout were also ubiquitous in their distribution, caught at 11 sites. The Cascade Stream at Pourakino Valley Road had the greatest diversity with six fish species recorded. The number of fish caught at each site ranged from none (Oteramika Stream at Seaward Downs) to 443 (Oreti River at McKellars Flat). Accordingly, the highest density of any fish species was recorded at the latter site, with four juvenile and adult galaxiids counted per m2 fished. Interesting or less common fish finds from the 2007/08 SoE fish monitoring sites included several bluegill bullies in the Cascade Stream. A solitary lamprey was caught in the Pourakino River, while one banded kokopu was collected from Moffat Creek. The only shortfin eel identified in the survey was recorded in the Winton Stream at the Winton Substation Road site. Generally, fish species recorded for most sites were typical of what might have been expected for each site at this time of year. However, follow up monitoring should be undertaken at two of the survey sites to determine why fish species numbers had decreased compared to historical data. Past surveys on the Oteramika Stream at or near the Seaward Downs survey site at a similar time of year had recorded at least four fish species. In this yearαs survey, two brown trout were observed, but no fish were captured. Likewise, the Waituna Creek at Marshall Road site also had greatly reduced fish species diversity compared with previous surveys and overall had a low fish population. In contrast, the Moffat Creek at Moffat Road site, although appearing to be in a poor state visually, recorded four fish species and bullies were caught in very high numbers. The 2007/08 monitoring programme will most likely be modified for upcoming summers, as the programme attempted to sample a number of rivers across the region and build on flow, water quality and macroinvertebrate information. This approach limits the number of sites within a catchment that are able to be sampled each summer. In the future, targeting of individual catchments would provide more detailed information of fish species distribution and fish community composition within catchments. Catchment specific fishery data would provide more valuable and robust information for water resource managers when making catchment scale water resource decisions, such as the setting of ecological flows and managing water allocation.. - Executive summary
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Bibliographic reference (p. 38)

Over the 2007/08 summer, 16 rivers were electric-fished across the Southland region, as part of Environment Southlandαs first State of the Environment (SoE) fish monitoring programme. The aim of the survey was to take a snapshot of the distribution and abundance of fish species in Southland rivers and streams. Ten of the 16 survey sites were in reaches classified as lowland river types. Sites selected this year were mainly within the Mataura, Oreti and Aparima River catchments. A total of 13 fish species, plus the freshwater crayfish Paranephrops zelandicus were recorded during the 2007/08 survey. At some sites, bully and galaxiid species were described to the lowest taxonomic level possible, as there was some difficulty in identifying them fully. Longfin eel were the most widespread of all species caught, being found at three-quarters of all sites (12 sites). Brown trout were also ubiquitous in their distribution, caught at 11 sites. The Cascade Stream at Pourakino Valley Road had the greatest diversity with six fish species recorded. The number of fish caught at each site ranged from none (Oteramika Stream at Seaward Downs) to 443 (Oreti River at McKellars Flat). Accordingly, the highest density of any fish species was recorded at the latter site, with four juvenile and adult galaxiids counted per m2 fished. Interesting or less common fish finds from the 2007/08 SoE fish monitoring sites included several bluegill bullies in the Cascade Stream. A solitary lamprey was caught in the Pourakino River, while one banded kokopu was collected from Moffat Creek. The only shortfin eel identified in the survey was recorded in the Winton Stream at the Winton Substation Road site. Generally, fish species recorded for most sites were typical of what might have been expected for each site at this time of year. However, follow up monitoring should be undertaken at two of the survey sites to determine why fish species numbers had decreased compared to historical data. Past surveys on the Oteramika Stream at or near the Seaward Downs survey site at a similar time of year had recorded at least four fish species. In this yearαs survey, two brown trout were observed, but no fish were captured. Likewise, the Waituna Creek at Marshall Road site also had greatly reduced fish species diversity compared with previous surveys and overall had a low fish population. In contrast, the Moffat Creek at Moffat Road site, although appearing to be in a poor state visually, recorded four fish species and bullies were caught in very high numbers. The 2007/08 monitoring programme will most likely be modified for upcoming summers, as the programme attempted to sample a number of rivers across the region and build on flow, water quality and macroinvertebrate information. This approach limits the number of sites within a catchment that are able to be sampled each summer. In the future, targeting of individual catchments would provide more detailed information of fish species distribution and fish community composition within catchments. Catchment specific fishery data would provide more valuable and robust information for water resource managers when making catchment scale water resource decisions, such as the setting of ecological flows and managing water allocation.. - Executive summary

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