The banded kōkopu (Galaxias fasciatus) lives in pools with good cover such as overhanging banks, logs and boulders. It is usually found in pools or under undercut banks. Like the giant kōkopu, it is sometimes referred to as the Māori trout or native trout.
These fish prefer stream temperatures of 12–18°C and are particularly sensitive to pollutants such as ammonia, which occurs in livestock waste and poorly treated wastewater.
Banded kōkopu lay their eggs on leaf litter and plants above streams during high flows. The hatched larvae then float out to sea where they live and grow over winter, migrating back upstream as whitebait in spring. However, some populations can ‘lake-lock’ and carry out their entire life cycle in freshwater – this is termed lacustrine. Banded kōkopu have a multitude of lacustrine populations nationwide.
Acknowledgement: Stella McQueen