World Fish Migration Day was celebrated in Christchurch right next to the Ōtākaro Avon River at the bustling
Margaret Mahy Playground. Working Waters Trust was there, along with many other fascinating stalls showing live fish, a fact-finding treasure hunt, and learning how to be a stormwater superhero.
We had a fake stream, complete with it's very own hydropower station and a 'big mamma' longfin eel made out of recycled stockings. Kids got stuck in to move elvers (young eels) up above the dam, or moving the big mamma migrating eel down past the dam. We also had branches, rocks and blocks for them to make pretend 'tuna townhouses'- to give eels home in our urban streams where they can hide from birds and larger eels. Thanks to everyone who helped out with the stalls, or who came along to learn about our FFF - Fantastic Freshwater Fish!
Even when on holiday in Golden Bay, Projects Manager at Working Waters Trust, has the freshwater bug. A very rare species of freshwater mussel is currently only known from one pond/stream near Onekaka, but has museum records of being found in a larger area on the Western side of Golden Bay. Sophie has been out looking for samples with her dad, and has just sent some to a specialist at Te Papa who is able to tell them apart from the common freshwater mussel species found around most of the country- fingers crossed we have found a new site or two!
UPDATE March 18: Te Papa has confirmed we have found two new sites for the rare mussels-with a grand total of 3 known waterways now. Probably more out there to be found next summer. Fantastic news!
Watch this space for news on our newest project. In 2018 we are launching our 'Te Tuna Tāone - Urban Eel' project. This project will focus on community-led action to protect and care for our endemic longfin eel in our urban waterways in Christchurch, that are under stress from issues such as polluted stormwater.
A huge thank you to our partner Enviroschools Canterbury and our funder, the Rātā Foundation, for enabling this project to kick-off.