Our fish salvage and relocation programme

A 440 metre stretch of Awaroa stream was required to be relocated during the year to allow the development of the Awaroa North West mining extension.

In line with consent requirements and our environmental plans, we created a suitable fish habitat in the reconstructed stream section to minimise aquatic ecology losses.

Fish salvage and relocation are standard obligations before and after the stream diversion. Two separate operations took place for the Awaroa Northwest diversion:

  • the initial eel trapping and relocation; and
  • electric fishing and trapping with relocation into the new diversion.

The work was undertaken by ecologists from Wildlands Consultants and our staff over four consecutive days.

The fish salvage and relocation programme found significant populations of eel, fish and koura/crayfish – demonstrating a stepwise decline over the four consecutive days of trapping.

A high percentage of the fish present in the channel were recovered – with a total of 289 fish being relocated.

Rehabilitation

Civil works to reinstate the diversion channel involved preparing a low flow channel with riffle areas, main channel, floodplain and stopbanks – the maintenance and riparian planting involved 11,000 plants of multiple species being planted over an area of approximately three hectares.

Waahi Whaanui blessing

An invitation was accepted by Waahi Whaanui Trust to perform a cultural blessing at the stream diversion when the Awaroa stream was diverted through the new channel.

“We’re proud to have created a new fish habitat in the reconstructed Awaroa Stream to minimise aquatic ecology losses.”