Hingaia Ecological Assessment and Fish Translocation

Client: Gar-Gar Ltd
Date: 2016

We were first engaged in 2014 as environmental consultants for Gar-Gar Limited to undertake a detailed ecological assessment of a site in the Hingaia Special Housing Area (SHA) proposed for residential development.  The proposed development required the dewatering and infilling of a large farm irrigation pond and earthworks of a spillway channel on site, thus Auckland Council requested an assessment of the effects and mitigation measures required.

The ecological assessment involved describing the existing freshwater ecological values on site and assessing the environmental effects of the proposed development based on site observation, a review of technical reports and council information, a fish inventory survey and field water quality measurements.

The presence of native shortfin eels in the irrigation pond was identified and thus the Auckland Council, Ministry for Primary Industries and Department of Conservation were involved and a translocation plan was drawn up for their safe removal from the pond.

Key Aspects: 

  • Freshwater ecological assessment
  • Review of technical reports and council information
  • Fish inventory survey using fyke nets and gee minnow traps
  • Field water quality measurements
  • Consultation with relevant stakeholders e.g. Auckland Council, MPI, DOC, iwi
  • Development of an eel translocation plan with biosecurity measures

Client: Gar-Gar Ltd
Date: 2016

Before dewatering, over a series of nights eels were caught using a combination of baited fyke nets and siene netting in the pond. Eels were transferred to barrels with aerators and driven upstream to a release site in the Drury Creek. Invasive fish species including perch and koi carp caught in nets were humanely killed and disposed of as a biosecurity measure.

A total of 271 shortfin eels were successfully translocated to Drury Creek during the dewatering of the irrigation pond. All pest fish were culled and disposed of and no biosecurity risks were observed.

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