Teacher’s lab a local stream

FISH DUTY: Northcote College teacher Kit Hustler is monitoring the Little Shoal Bay stream for fish in his spare time.

Kit Hustler is passionate about Little Shoal Bay. He has been monitoring fish in the Little Shoal Bay stream since August last year.

The Northcote College teacher says they have a nice stream on their doorstep and the project is about finding out what’s going on in it.

“People said there were fish in there but nobody knew how many, what type or what they’re doing there.”

So he set about monitoring the stream with several of his students.

Some of them have now left the college but continue to help in their spare time.

They have been catching fish, weighing and photographing them before returning them to the water.

“It’s not high-tech stuff. If we want to protect them, we’ve got to know what’s there.”

But Mr Hustler says the more they do, the less they know.

“Anything we discover raises two or three more questions.”

He has discovered there are about six species of fish in the stream with the largest measuring about 22cm long.

“They’re obviously making a living here.”

He believes the fact they’re surviving in the stream is a testament to how well people in the area are treating the water.

Mr Hustler has been studying the impact gambusia – mosquito fish – have on other fish and is trying to discover if there is a pattern to which types of fish are located in particular parts of the stream.

They are also using temperature probes to assess any changes in water temperature.

Mr Hustler has been teaching at Northcote College for nine years and says it’s great to have a “lab” on the doorstep.

He says the plan is to get more kids involved because the project is a real biology lesson.

“That’s the attraction, we don’t actually know the answers,” he says.

Credits

Written by: LISA HONEYBONE
Photo/s by: BEN WATSON
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times

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