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Whitebait the Winners - Spring Field Trip Report

Looking from a carpark on Fishing Camp Rd, you can see numerous open water areas on the Waiau River valley flats below you. This area of land was purchased by the Waiau Habitat Enhancement Trust over a decade ago for the purpose of developing wetland areas for the breeding of our threatened native fish species, especially Galaxids and eels. Today there is about 30 ha retired for this development, over half of that ponds where whitebait and eels thrive. The Waiau Trust retain ownership of pasture lands as well and the baleage sold off this area covers the cost of maintenance of the retired area, regards gorse and broom control, as well as an intensive predator control programme. On Saturday 6th November this was the first stop for the SERN Spring Field Trip, which later visited Broadlands Bush and the Wairaki Oxbow, the latter being another important habitat for eels. To see more about the lower Waiau whitebait wetlands and the other sites, check out the event report at www.sern.org.nz/events/2021-sern-spring-field-day