Whitebait Galaxias sp.
Whitebait is the collective name for the juvenile stage of five species of fish of the genus Galaxias. The most frequently caught of the five, Inanaga G. maculata has a wide distribution reaching as far as Argentina but listed as declining in Aorearoa New Zealand. Kōaro G. brevipennis is also found in Australia while the Banded G. fasciata, Giant G. argeneus and Shortjaw Kōkopu G. postvectus.are found nowhere else other than in Aotearoa New Zealand. Whitebait are caught as they start their migration up-stream.
As a group they are fascinating with a diverse lifestyle, much of which is covered in a fun Whitebait activity book produced by the Department of Conservation and available here for download.
whitebaitconnection.co.nz is also a useful site to visit for more information and activities.
They are a much loved source of food which are caught in nests over a brief period each year. Current regulations can be found here.