Fish fauna of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Christchurch
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Aspects of the biology of common fish species in the Avon-Heathcote Estuary were investigated from two distinct types of sample site, during two sample periods between July 1996 and April 1997. The sites consisted of sites 1-6 (channel sites), which were sampled using a seine net, and estuarine fringe sites A-F, which were dip-net sampled. Although a relatively low diversity of fish species were captured, this was believed to be partly due to sampling methods and conditions. The species that were captured however did appear to be healthy, and were feeding in the estuary. Gonad analyses indicated that most of the adult Rhombosolea leporina in the estuary were nearly ripe females, that may have been in the estuary to feed prior to spawning elsewhere. The estuarine fringe sites had an abundance of juvenile flatfish of both common species Rhombosolea Ieporina, and R. plebeia, which were using these areas as "nurseries" as they possessed food and cover from predators.