Some species such as whitebait are migratory, moving between fresh and sea water environments to complete their lifecycles. Non-migratory species such as mudfish spend their entire life in freshwater.
Native fish are often secretive and can be hard to find. They tend to feed at night and hide during the day under cover such as logs, boulders, riverbanks and vegetation.
Adult fish are found in a variety of freshwater habitats. For example, giant kōkopu and īnanga tend to be found in lowland rivers, streams and wetlands, whereas kōaro can ‘climb’ up waterfalls and live in high mountainous, bouldery streams.