Inanga make up the majority of the whitebait catch in most rivers in New Zealand Whitebait are the juveniles of five species of fish: giant kōkopu, banded kōkopu, shortjaw kōkopu, inanga, and kōaro.
Inanga spend roughly half their time in fresh water and half of their time out at sea, and they actually lay their eggs out of water.
Margins of the stream are really important as inanga wriggle out of the water during peak tides in Autumn. They lay eggs in streamside vegetation upstream of tidal salt wedge amongst vegetation, even rank exotic grasses are suitable.
Unfortunately, inanga numbers are declining, due to extensive habitat deterioration.
Nicola Toki, DOC's threatened species ambassador celebrates this wriggly little fish.