Inanga amongst eelgrass
New Zealand has 35 native fish species, yet most of us would be hard pressed to list more than a couple (and no, trout are NOT native!). People are astounded to learn that ‘whitebait’ are the juveniles of five native species, including some that are threatened.
Did you know that half of our native fish species spend time at sea? In this section you'll learn more about some of New Zealand's 35 native fish species.
Find out about the threats to New Zealand freshwater fish.
Learn about DOC's shortfin and longfin eel conservation work.
There are a number of ways you can be involved with eel conservation efforts, including protecting eel habitat and ensuring their migration routes are passable.
View whitebaiting regulations and tips. The whitebait fishing season opens on 15 August, except for the West Coast where it opens on 1 September.
Watch this video about the lowland longjaw and how DOC protects this tiny fish which is as endangered as the kakapo.
Did you know that New Zealand has at least 35 species native fish? The trouble is many of our fish are tiny and hard to find. This video shows how DOC uses electric fishing to monitor them.
New Zealand's native freshwater fish factsheet (PDF, 195K)
Find out about the biology of whitebait and whitebait identification
Journey Up the Creek A bilingual website for students follows a trip up the creek to show how fresh water supports life.
Freshwater board and card games
Phone 0800 DOC HOTline (0800 362 468) 24 hour emergency number to report:
Sick or injured wildlifeWhale or dolphin strandings