Native fish spotlighting surveys were undertaken at 24 sites around the Taranaki ring plain in summer 2011 and summer/autumn 2012, targeting the four large galaxiid species: shortjaw kokopu (Galaxias postvectis), banded kokopu (Galaxias fasciatus), giant kokopu (Galaxias argenteus) and kōaro (Galaxias brevipinnis). The surveys were conducted as a follow up to 193 rapid assessment spotlighting surveys undertaken between May 2001 and June 2002.
The objectives of this survey were to:
- Gather baseline information that will enable identification of high value freshwater sites in the Taranaki region, in line with DOC guidelines for long-term management of didymo (Didymo operations framework, 2009);
- Gain a more accurate picture of the density and distribution of large galaxiids in the Taranaki region;
- Obtain fish population information for two catchments identified through the preliminary DOC Ecosystem Optimisation Process (Waiwhakaiho and Oakura);
- Re-survey streams in which large galaxiids have previously been found, but have not been surveyed in at least ten years. This is in keeping with recommendations in the large galaxiid recovery plan (Department of Conservation, 2005) and, in addition, will reveal the structure of large galaxiid populations discovered during the rapid assessments.
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