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Esk River

The Esk River is one of Hawke’s Bay’s smaller rivers with a catchment area of 252 square kilometres.  The river has good quality habitat to support in-stream life for most of its length with a regular occurrence of riffles, pools and bends and a predominantly large cobble or cobble stream bed. 


Its headwaters originate in the Maungaharuru Range and discharge to sea approx 14 km north of Napier. It has a mean annual flow of 5.237 cumecs measured at Waipunga Bridge. The Esk is a 5th order river.  

The upper Esk catchment is mostly in plantation forestry but has some intensive dairy farming. The middle and lower reaches of the catchment are predominantly in pastoral farming with some vineyards and orchards, plus lifestyle property development.

The Esk River supports many native fish species including longfin eel, shortfin eel, inanga, common smelt, koaro, koura, banded kokopu, pataki (black flounder), torrent fish, common bully, giant bully, blue gill bully, and redfin bully. The Esk also has a healthy rainbow and brown trout fishery.

Sites 3

Monitored sites in the Esk River catchment

...retrieving sites.

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