Fish Status

The known natural freshwater fish fauna is composed of ten species, of which eight have marine life stages. In order of probable abundance these are the shortfin eel, longfin eel, common bully, upland bully, giant bully, brown trout, lamprey, common smelt, inanga, and black flounder. In addition to these, the tench and goldfish are two relatively recent, illegal introductions into the catchment. To date they have only been recorded in shingle pits and not the main waterways. In the lower river, some truly marine fish may also be seen.  These include the yellow-eye mullet that forms conspicuous shoals, and  may be confused for trout by some observers.

Fish diversity declines as you move upstream, a common characteristic of rivers containing predominantly sea-migratory fish. Although the Styx River shares this attribute, habitat characteristics, quality and permanence are also important considerations affecting local fish diversity and abundance.

Fish Habitats 

The Styx River network can be divided into three different types of fish habitat as follows –

(i)  Lower Reaches 
Styx River downstream of Main North Road, Kaputone Creek downstream of Guthries Road.

(ii)  Middle Reaches               
Styx River between Main North Road and Sawyers Arms Road, Smacks Creek from the confluence with the Styx River up to Smacks Close, Kaputone Creek upstream from Guthries Road to Main North Road, permanent flows in Marshland Drains.

(iii)  Upper Reaches
Styx River upstream of Sawyers Arms Road, Kaputone Creek upstream of Main North Road, Smacks Creek upstream of Smacks Close.

The different fish habitats are highlighted spatially on the fish habitat map

The fish migration calander highlights the movement of the different fish species up and down the waterways within the styx catchment while more information about individual fish species can be found by clicking on the name of the individual fish species in the table below.   

Fish Species

Common Name Scientific Name
Black Flounder Rhombosolea retiaria
Brown Trout Salmo trutta
Common Bully Gobiomorphus cotidianus
Common Smelt Retropinna retropinna
Giant Bully Gobiomorphus gobioides
Goldfish Carassius auratus
Inanga Galaxias maculatus
Longfin Eel Anguilla dieffenbachii
Shortfin Eel Anguilla australis
Southern Lamprey Geotria australis
Upland Bully Gobiomorphus breviceps

 Styx River downstream from Marshland Road 
Photographer  Graham Harrington 
Date  6 May 2008  © Christchurch City Council
Styx River
© Christchurch City Council

Styx River downstream from Marshland Road

Photographer Graham Harrington
Date 6 May 2008

10, June 2009
06, May 2008
 Floodgates on the Styx River downstream from Harbour Road  © Christchurch City Council
© Christchurch City Council

Floodgates on the Styx River downstream from Harbour Road

04, August 2009