Mudfish try city living

The Mangakotukutuku Stream Care Group released mudfish into the gully network on Saturday at Sandford Park
BRUCE MERCER/FAIRFAX NZ

The Mangakotukutuku Stream Care Group released mudfish into the gully network on Saturday at Sandford Park

Mudfish have been released into Hamilton city waters in an effort to restore biodiversity of days gone by.

The Mangakotukutuku Stream Care Group released the creatures into the gully network on Saturday at Sandford Park to coincide with the end of Conservation Week.

The fish made headlines last month when a colony from Rangiriri was relocated, due to construction of the Waikato Expressway, to a new habitat.

Chairman Grant Blackie said, in the past, peat bogs that surrounded Hamilton would have teemed with the eel-like fish, and they would have been found in the network of gullies that wound through the city.

Black mudfish, a close relation of whitebait, are now only found in small pockets.

Blackie said no populations were currently known to exist within the city boundary.

He wasn't sure when they vanished, but said this move was part of the group's vision to "improve the biodiversity of the stream system".

The release is the result of a three-year project with Hamilton City Council to reinstate a natural wetland ecosystem at Sandford Park.

rachel.thomas@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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 - Waikato Times

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