Impacts of sediment on freshwater and estuarine and freshwater fish species

Information sheets

Sediment can affect freshwater and estuarine fish used for m­ahinga kai.

These fact sheets bring together existing scientific information on these effects, along with expert scientific knowledge, in an easy-to-read format by community groups and land-water managers interested in protecting m­ahinga kai.  

The sensitivity of each of 11 species of fish are summarised on a dial from low to high.

The assessment is made by considering the influence of sediment on habitat, behaviour, feeding, growth and survival, all in the context of background information such as the life cycle and places where the species are usually found.

Scientific references are provided for further detail. Readers might also be interested in the Taonga Species Fact Sheets which provide a broader range of information on selected species. The information sheets (in the table below) were prepared by Mike Hickford, Michele Melchior and Melanie Mayall-Nahi from NIWA for the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge.


Dr Sandy Elliott

Principal Scientist - Catchment Processes

Email Dr Sandy Elliott

Free phone within New Zealand: 0800 RING NIWA (0800 746 464)