stream or pond teeming with native fish or have introduced fish taken over? You can find out with a G minnow net.
Fish? What fish?
You might find that there are some really interesting native fish in streams near your
place. These fish might include the secretive “native trout” (grown-up whitebait), or spectacular redfin bullies, or the top predators in our streams – eels. Finding these fish might come as a pleasant surpriseas many people live close to streams without noticing these generally nocturnal creatures. On the other hand you might find
some of the introducednasties like mosquito fish, koi carp or catfish, and your discoveries could help the Department of Conservation to keep track of the spread of these unwanted pests.
What’s a G minnow net?
A G minnow net is like a “bait catcher” designed to be easy for fish to enter but hard for them to find their way out. When used properly these traps can catch fish without harming them, and you could learn lots about life in your local waterways.
Think like a fish
Catching fish is often easier if you can think like a fish. Many of our freshwater species are most active at night, so leave the traps in secure places over night (make sure they’re easy to find). Most fish also like to hide under cover, so try setting your traps in safe places under overhanging stream banks or vegetation. Some fish prefer places with steady flow, while others tend to stick to the pools, so try a few areas of different current speed and see what you get. Just make sure that your trap is secure over night and don’t forget to check and empty them the next morning.
To bait or not to bait
Some people find that baits such as vegemite or marmite in a small punctured plastic container (such as a 35mm film container) can help to attract fish into these traps. Others find that these traps work well with no lures at all. Eels and native trout seem to be very curious and are often caught
when they explore unbaited traps over night.
A word to the wise
You can have great fun and learn a great deal with a G minnow net, but please remember these points:
Fish get stressed like us and they might not survive in fish traps for long periods.
Make sure your traps are easy to find, and don’t set them if there’s likely to be heavy rain over night because you may never
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see them again!
What ever you do, don’t transport fish from place to place
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– you could find yourself in big trouble! It is illegal to transport some species, or to keep them captivity. Native fish can be hard to keep in captivity, and some species are quite rare. The best place for them is he place they came from, not a jam jar!