Jarrod Nicholson was at Mowhanau beach on Saturday, ready to net any whitebait that came in on a wash from the sea, as they travelled up the creek to lay their eggs.
Jarrod Nicholson has been whitebaiting for 25 years, since he was three. But the numbers aren't there any more, and his catch this season is half a pound, probably the best it will get.
He said whitebaiting over the past four years had been extremely tough and pointed to the impact of farming practices on waterways where the whitebait go to spawn.
"The farming environment, septic tanks and pollutants combining over the years have meant the whitebait have not been able to reproduce in the streams.
"Horses trample around the banks of the streams where the whitebait lay their eggs.
"In the big spring tides, the water washes away the banks where the whitebait have laid their eggs."
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