Rights: Stella McQueen Published 14 December 2017 Size: 52 KB

The giant kōkopu (Galaxias argenteus) is sometimes referred to as the Māori trout or native trout and is the largest of all the galaxiids.

Although the giant kōkopu possesses some climbing ability, it is generally found close to the sea. It inhabits wetlands, lakes and forest streams and relies on good bush surrounds. It is usually found in pools or under undercut banks within the stream.

It is slow growing and can live for more than 20 years.

Giant kōkopu, like all kōkopu and kōaro, lay their eggs on marginal vegetation 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. Giant kōkopu have a multitude of lacustrine populations nationwide.

Acknowledgement: Stella McQueen