Skip to main content


Getting fish friendly

Keep it cool

Native freshwater fish like cool, clear, clean water that’s shaded by trees or other plants. Many lay their eggs in bankside vegetation that becomes submerged during autumn high tides. Fencing and planting waterway margins creates safe havens for freshwater fish. The plants will also help stop land run-off and keep the water clean.

Break down barriers



Fish friendly flap gateWhitebait and other native freshwater fish need access between the sea and inland waterways to breed and feed. Structures in streams and drains, like floodgates, culverts and dams, often create barriers that fish can’t get through.

These structures can be adapted to restore fish access, here's how:


Fish friendly flap gates

This special type of floodgate stays partially open at low and half tide so fish can get through.It still closes at high tide to provide protection from floods and tidal intrusion.   


Fish ladders

Fish ladderPerched culverts or dams can be fitted with various kinds of fish ladder. Fast-running culverts can be fitted with baffles or thick ropes that give fish traction, shelter and enable them to pass through.


We can help

Regional Council offers practical advice and funding assistance to help landowners get fish friendly. Call your local Land Management Officer, phone 0800 884 880 to find out more.


Further information

News about Regional Council's freshwater fish work