NZ Freshwater Fish Database

The New Zealand Freshwater Fish Database contains over 34,000 freshwater fish observations. Data stored include the location of sample sites, the fish species present, as well as information on their abundance, size, sampling methods and a physical description of each site.In recent years, data from the River Environment Classification (REC) has also been linked to the NZFFD, adding further environmental information to each NZFFD record.

Search and download data

Access to NZFFD data is freely available and users can search the NZFFD to return all records, or to return records for specific river catchments, areas, years, species and fishing methods.

Go to the NZFFD search page 

Contribute data to the NZFFD

To store and contribute data to the NZFFD you first need to register with the Database. After you have registered and logged in, you can directly enter your own data into the Database. All the information you submit will then be inspected by an NZFFD administrator to check for any errors before it goes live in the NZFFD server.

Go to the NZFFD login page 

Hints and tips for downloading and uploading data

We have prepared a list of tips to help you upload and download data to the NZFFD. This webpage helps guide you through all the steps associated with the NZFFD and covers suggestions for displaying NZFFD data on a map. You can also download a hardcopy of these hints and tips along with an example of a form you can use to record your sampling data.

Go to the Hint and Tips page 

Guidelines for sampling freshwater fisheries

We have prepared a breakdown of the different guidelines that are available for sampling freshwater fisheries. The overview provides links to key documents that explain what should be considered when designing fish monitoring studies and how to implement the various sampling techniques.

Read about available guidelines for sampling freshwater fisheries

Identifying New Zealand fishes

We have a series of identification guides available to help you identify New Zealand fishes. This series of webpages provides a range of taxonomic keys and field guides for identifying each species (and some life stages) both in the field and in the laboratory. We have simple quick-guides available for use in the field that help you identify the major taxonomic groups of freshwater fishes in New Zealand. We also have more detailed taxonomic keys available.

Go to the freshwater fish species identification guides

Find out more about New Zealand freshwater fishes

NIWA has a series of information available on freshwater fishes called the NIWA atlas of NZ freshwater fishes. These webpages provide an overview of the freshwater fishes found in New Zealand. There are fact sheets available for each species that contain basic biological and taxonomic information along with maps of their known, and expected (i.e. modelled) geographic distributions. A plot of the known distribution relative to the distance upriver and altitude is provided to illustrate where species can be expected to occur.

Go to the NIWA atlas of NZ Freshwater Fishes 

Additional resources and contact information

If you have any further questions about using the NZFFD or freshwater fish that are not covered above then you can email your questions to the Freshwater Database administrator: fwdba@niwa.co.nz

If you would like to download a copy of the New Zealand Catchment number directory you can download this document. 

Download the catchment number directory (DOC 609 KB)

Research subject: ABB