Koaro (Galaxias brevipinnis) is one of the five whitebait species and is quite distinct because of its elongated and slender shape. It grows up to 300mm long and its sides and back are covered in a variable pattern of light patches and bands. Rocky, fast-flowing streams are the preferred habitat of koaro and they are almost always found in streams with native bush except for tributaries of upland lakes that may be above the bush-line. Koaro are very good ‘climbers’ and can overcome waterfalls and dams, which is why they are often found well inland in many river systems and have a more widespread distribution than the other four whitebait species. The species is ranked as ‘At Risk – Declining’ in the latest Conservation Status of New Zealand Freshwater Fish 2014.