Fishy Business At CUE Haven—28 November 2012
From November 26-28, the Auckland Council Wai Care/Environmental Programmes Coordinators group held an annual training session for their staff. This year the retreat focussed on the south Kaipara Harbour area, where CUE Haven is located. The workshops consisted of training meetings and field trips and on the morning of November 28 the group visited CUE Haven.
Wai Care is a water quality monitoring, education and action programme for community groups, individuals, businesses and schools across the Auckland region. They support and enable local communities to be active in the protection, health and management of local waterways and catchments.
Earlier this year, Wai Care’s Environmental Programmes Coordinator, Rachel Griffiths, provided water testing demonstrations and training for two student groups who came out to CUE Haven as part of the Trees For Survival school planting programme.
The objective of today’s visit was to tour the property to get an overview of our restoration work and to have a look at fish and macro-invertebrates in the stream. The team included, Rachel, Laura, Hazel, Sophie, Kristen, Marnie and Sue from Wai Care/Trees For Survival and Paul, an independent native fish specialist . Tracy Tristram Auckland Council’s Environmental Programmes Advisor also joined the group for part of the morning.
After morning tea and a briefing by Mahrukh and Tom, the group piled into Tracy’s ute for a quick tour of the property.
Sue insisted on taking a grubber along to attack any weeds she encountered along the way!
We then took a hike down the gully walking track. The team had brought nets and field equipment to check for fish in the stream.
We were hoping to find some fish because healthy aquatic life is an indication of the success of our restoration programme in improving water quality. Paul and Rachel found a shaded pool and went down to explore.
And in no time they found four very healthy Banded Kokopu – a native fish of the Galaxiid (whitebait) family that is found only in New Zealand streams. More information on New Zealand native freshwater fish can be found here: http://terranature.org/kokopuBanded.htm
Paul put the fish into a bucket and brought them up for the team to examine and they were happy to see the size and health of the fish.
After a quick measure and examination, Rachel put the fish back into the pool. It was great having Paul (the Afishionado) along to explain the characteristics and habits of the Banded Kokopu.
After the walk through the gully, we showed the group the nursery and discussed our seed harvesting and planting plans.
The group then went down the road to our neighbours Gill and Kevin at the Mataia Restoration project. After lunch we joined the Wai Care team and attended a workshop presented by Sarah Sheeran, Auckland Council EFS Senior Advisor, on managing and working with groups in the field.
It was a fun and informative day and we’d like to thank Rachel and all of the Auckland Council representatives who joined us. We’d also like to thank Gill, Kevin and Sarah for having us over to participate in Sarah’s very useful presentation.
We look forward to having the group back as we continue our efforts to restore CUE Haven and transform it into a native reserve.
Thanks Wai Care!