A Ngāti Hikairo couple's efforts are helping to save the longfin eel. Taupō & Tūrangi Weekender editor Laurilee McMichael looks at a long-term project that brings together modern science and traditional knowledge.

Years ago a tiny elver, a baby eel, crossed the Pacific Ocean to the mouth of the Whanganui River. From there, she made her way upriver, over obstacles and rapids, evading danger and predators at every turn. Finally, she arrived at a wetland lagoon in the Central Plateau. Here, she was safe.

Over the years she grew. Eventually, at the age of around 60, she reached sexual maturity