Help wanted in the hunt for hidden kākahi

Horizons Regional Council is on the hunt for kākahi and wants help finding where the important freshwater species lives.

Horizons checks sites across the region each summer for kākahi (freshwater mussels), looking at a mixture of known habitats and places where kākahi may live.
Horizons research associate fish passage and monitoring Tui Wright says there are many kākahi sites in the region Horizons does not know about.

“We would be grateful to have the knowledge of local communities to help us find new populations of kākahi,” she says.
“Kākahi prefer to live in sheltered areas of lakes, rivers and streams where the bed is soft bottomed. They often avoid streams with rocks or gravel beds.
“We often find them in undercut banks, as they provide a bit of protection. Kākahi live in areas with or without bank vegetation but do prefer some shade.
“Rats are a major predator to kākahi, leaving shells behind which can be an indicator kākahi are living in the area.
“Kākahi are an important indicator of water quality, as they filter their food out of the water and effectively provide a record of the quality of that water during their lifespan.
“This record can be substantial as kākahi can live as long as 50 years.”
If you have information about where to find kākahi, freephone Horizons on 0508 800 800 and ask for the Fish Passage team.