Farmer efforts a win for both water quality, and the fish living in it.

Planting alongside waterways provides essential shade and a food source for native fish. It can also improve the stability of stream banks and help reduce the amount of nutrients and soil entering a stream. This all adds up to a win for both water quality, and the fish living in it.

Landowner Christine Mitchell spent time completing environmental papers and working in the Freshwater Ecology Department at Massey University. This taught her about the rapid decline in native fish populations and the need to restore their habitats. As a result she and husband Bruce have fenced and planted wetland areas, a bush remnant and streams on their farm.

This has been done with part funding from Horizons Council and more recently Central Government’s Fresh Start for Freshwater Clean-up Fund through the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord.

Native fish species sighted in the Koputaroa sub-catchment include banded kokopu, brown mudfish, inanga, shortfin and longfin eel and crans bully. All of these native fish species stand to benefit from Chris and Bruce’s hard work.