Tips on data extraction

This webpage provides a list of hints and tips to help you use the New Zealand Freshwater Fish Database (NZFFD). You can also download a hardcopy of these tips along with a data entry sheet to help you record the appropriate information for uploading.

On this page

Quick guide "How to Download and Contribute Data"

Tips on searching the NZFFD and saving the results

Tips on contributing data to the NZFFD

View the contents of a single record

Create a distribution map

Obtain more data for some records

For users of the old NZFFD assistant software

Quick guide - "How to Download and Contribute Data"

We have prepared a quick guide that is designed to help guide you through all the common steps involved with downloading and uploading data. We suggest you save a copy of this overview and keep it handy for when you are next using the NZFFD.

How to Download and Contribute Data [PDF 2.7 MB]

Download a copy of a form for recording field data [PDF 40 KB]

Tips on searching the NZFFD and saving the results

  1. To download all records, leave all fields blank and press "Search and download".
  2. NZFFD data can be downloaded as a .TXT file or as a .CSV file that can be loaded into Microsoft Excel. Simply select the format you want using the drop down menu in the at the bottom of the search page. You can then
  3. To search for records found within a specific stream or river, start typing the name of the river or catchment into the Catchment/River lookup box. A menu will appear with matching river names and catchment numbers. Enter the desired catchment number into the "Catchment No." search box, then hit the "Search and download" button.
  4. To search for specific species or fish captured with specific fishing methods, use the drop-down menus available.
  5. Download a list of the NZFFD species codes [XLS 12KB]

Tips on contributing data to the NZFFD

  1. After you have registered and logged in to the database you can enter sampling data by clicking the "Enter new data". 
  2. There are three compulsory fields on the "Sampling Event" tab, and one compulsory field on the "Catch Data" tab, which are highlighted with *.
  3. The sampling coordinates field displays your coordinates on a map and you can use this to select the nearest REC segment, called an NZSegment. This is easily done by entering your sampling coordinates or clicking on the map, then selecting the closest NZSegment from the options that appear on the right of the topographical map.
  4. All the remaining fields in the NZFFD webpages are optional, but we strongly urge you to enter as much information as you have available

View the contents of a single record

After you have registered and logged in you can view the contents of a single card by entering the card number you are interested in into the "Record No." box and hit "Go".

Create a distribution map

We are currently developing a webpage that will allow you to download records and plot these, but this is not yet ready. We will update this section as soon as this is available.If you wish to display locations of NZFFD records we recommend using the free software "QGIS".

Visit the GQIS website

Read more about using QGIS to display biodata

Read an overview of how to use GQIS software 

Obtain more data for some records

Not all of the data uploaded to the NZFFD is returned during searches. This is because some of formatting difficulties associated with fitting some data within a single column in Microsoft Excel. All of the data submitted is saved and is available to be downloaded.

Just email: fwdba@niwa.co.nz and explain what data you are after. Normally this is free of charge unless your request requires significant amounts of time. A charge may be incurred if a large amount of time is spent on your request, but you will be informed of the likely charge before the work is undertaken.

For users of the old NZFFD assistant software

We have retained some functionality with the old NZFFD assistant software for users still wishing to use program, but we encourage you to use the new webpages available. The new webpages enable you to store more information about your sampling sites and also to directly upload data to the NZFFD.

If you have old records to upload that have been saved using the NZFFD assistant you can still upload these. After you have registered and logged in you can enter sampling data by clicking the "Upload new data from the Fish Assistant". Here you will need to upload a series of individual files created by the NZFFD assistant when you save your file. There are instructions at the bottom of this page to help guide you through this.

If you wish to use the NZFFD Assistant to display the locations of records, just ensure "Fish Assistant" is selected under "Download format". This can then be directly loaded into the NZFFD Assistant