Fish

This page is a general introduction to the fish of the Pauatahanui Inlet. You can also read about specific species as follows:

Whitebait
Rig sharks

 

Published records (see Reference box below) show that 46 species of fish have been recorded in the waters of Porirua Harbour as a whole. We don’t know exactly how many of these were present in the Pauatahanui Inlet but from the listed species it seems likely that all of them could at least occasionally visit the Inlet. Seven of these species – lamprey, brown trout, two eels and three species of whitebait are principally freshwater fish that transit through the Inlet on their way to or from spawning grounds.

At least 14 species are resident in the Inlet throughout the year, though only nine get to adulthood in the Inlet. The others return to the sea to mature. Nine species are usually present in large numbers (abundant) and 12 are plentiful (common), though not all the common species are present throughout the year. Only three species are known for certain to spawn in the Inlet but clearly it is an important nursery area for many species.

The most abundant species are probably the Sand flounder and Yellow-eyed mullet. The large number of species of flatfish (four soles and flounders) indicate that there is a diversity of suitable habitats for flatfish in the Inlet.

 

 

Common name

 

Yellow-eyed mullet (herring)

Sand flounder

Dwarf common sole

Spotty

Cockabully

Robust blenny

Garfish

Graham's gudgeon

Yellowbelly flounder

Kahawai

Common sole

Rig (Spotted smooth-hound)

Trevally

Red cod

Spotted stargazer

Smelt

Warehou

Grey mullet

Snapper

Elephant fish

Anchovy

 

Occurrence

 

Abundant resident as juvenile and adult

Abundant resident as juvenile and adult

Abundant resident as juvenile and adult

Abundant resident as juvenile and adult (spawn)

Abundant resident as juvenile and adult

Abundant resident as juvenile and adult

Common resident as juvenile and adult

Common resident as juvenile and adult

Common resident as juvenile and adult (spawn)

Abundant resident as juvenile; adults visit at high tide

Common resident as juvenile; adults visit at high tide

Abundant resident as juvenile; adults visit in summer (spawn)

Abundant resident as juvenile; adults visit in summer

Common adult visitor at high tide through year

Common resident as juvenile

Common in summer as juvenile and adults

Common in summer as adults

Common in summer as juvenile; adults visit at high tide

Common in summer as juvenile

Common in summer as juvenile

Common in summer as juvenile


Recreational fishing rules
 


Recreational fishing in the Inlet is governed by the Central Fishery Management Area Recreational Fishing Rules (Ministry for Primary Industries), which stipulate the daily bag limits for each species of finfish, restrictions on fishing methods and the allowable daily take of shellfish.

 

 

 

References and further reading

 

Francis, M.P., Morrison, M.A., Leathwick, J. and Walsh, C. (2011) Predicting patterns of richness, occurrence and abundance of small fish in New Zealand estuaries. Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 62: 1327-1341. 

 

Healy, W.B. (1980) Pauatahanui Inlet — an environmental study. DSIR information Series 141. NZ Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

(This book is out of print but is available at public libraries.)

 

Jones, J.B. and Hadfield, J.D. (1985) Fishes from Porirua Harbour and Pauatahanui Inlets: occurrence in gill nets. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 19: 477-484. 

See also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/whitebait

 

Last Updated: 14/12/2015 12:01am