Kōrero: Freshwater fish

Common smelt

Common smelt

There are two New Zealand species in the Retropinnidae family: the common smelt (Retropinna retropinna) and Stokell’s smelt (Stokellia anisodon), and it is difficult to tell them apart. Both have a distinct cucumber smell. Common smelt swim in large, roving shoals in estuaries. Māori, who knew them as pōrohe and paraki, caught them and dried them in the sun.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10049722
Photograph by Stephen Moore

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Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Bob McDowall, 'Freshwater fish - Bullies, smelt and grayling', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/photograph/11123/common-smelt (accessed 14 November 2019)

Story by Bob McDowall, published 24 Sep 2007