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Waitohu Stream

The Waitohu Stream is located in the Kāpiti Region north of Ōtaki. With headwaters in the Tararua foothills, the river drains a catchment area of 54 square kilometres before discharging into the Tasman Sea at Ōtaki Beach.

The stream supports many native fish species; some of these, such as the shortjaw kōkopu, giant kōkopu, lamprey and longfin eel, are nationally threatened.

The Greater Wellington Regional Council carries out routine monitoring at two sites within the Waitohu Stream Catchment area. A monitoring site is also in the Mangapouri Stream, a tributary of the Waitohu Stream. These sites are all monitored as part of a programme specifically designed to measure the health of rivers in the Wellington Region.

The Waitohu Stream Catchment area incorporates a range of land uses, including native and exotic forests, which make up 40 percent of the catchment area, as well as pastoral farmed floodplains, lakes, wetlands, sand dunes and urban areas.

The overall water quality of the Waitohu stream and its tributaries is varied. In the upper catchment, where indigenous forest is the dominant land cover, measures of water quality and ecosystem health are typically very good. However as pastoral and urban impacts increase with the distance downstream, the measure of water quality and ecosystem health deteriorates.

The main pressures on the water quality of the Waitohi Stream are nutrient contamination from human/animal sources, which is exacerbated by low flows during dry summers. 

Sites 3

Monitored sites in the Waitohu Stream catchment

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