The origin, ecology, and status of New Zealand's freshwater fisheries resources are reviewed. Rivers are the main freshwater features in these Pacific temperate-zone islands. Geological events, the islands' remoteness, and the recent nature of human colonization (first Maori and then European) have shaped the freshwater ichthyofauna. Diadromy is a dominant ecological feature for many indigenous species. Many species have also been introduced to create fisheries. Traditional Maori fisheries are focussed on indigenous eels and whitebait while recreational fisheries target introduced salmonids. Management of New Zealand freshwater fish is dispersed among several departments. New Zealand habitats are pristine by global standards due largely to the recent settlement of European colonists. Many rivers have been impounded for electricity generation; this constitutes the main environmental issue for freshwater fish. Intensification of agriculture also poses a growing eutrophication threat. The ecologies of indigenous species are becoming better known but much knowledge is anecdotal. Efforts to conserve indigenous freshwater species are increasing. Impoundment, irrigation, deforestation, and introduced salmonids, are the main threats to the native fauna.

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