Finegand Lagoon Marsh

Description: Finegand Lagoon Marsh.
Type/Class: Marsh. 2
Size: 5.8 ha.
Altitude: 0 - 20 m above sea level.
Approximate location: Located approximately 3km south of Balclutha. East of the intersection of Owaka Highway and Koau Road, Balclutha | NZTM (centre point): E1348900 N4870000.
Regional Plan: Water for Otago |  Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.43, Map F38.
Territorial Authority: Clutha District Council.

Interactive map of Finegand Lagoon Marsh

Recorded Values

Value Description
A1 Habitat for nationally or internationally rare or threatened species or communities. Provides habitat for Black-billed Gull (Larus bulleri), Red-billed Gull (Larus novaehollandiae scopulinus) and Black-fronted Tern (Chlidonias albostriatus). 113
A5 Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Less than 15% of marshes remain in Otago. 2
A2 - A4, A6 - A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.

Other Information

  • The Waitepeka river flows into the western side of the wetland and out of the south-eastern end, where it joins the Clutha river (Koau branch). The Waitepeka drain flows into the northern end of the lagoon. 113

  • Vegetation in the lagoon is comprised of willow (Salix sp.) and rushes (Juncus sp.) 2

  • Macrophytes (aquatic plants) in the lagoon include reed sweetgrass (Glyceria maxima) and curly pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), which are both introduced aquatic weeds, and the native plant species water fern (Azolla filiculoides) and duckweed (Lemna minor). 113

  • The lagoon has limited habitat for periphyton due to emergent macrophytes, areas of dense overhead vegetation cover creating shade, and soft, mobile sediments dominating the bed. 113

  • Macroinvertebrate communities are typical of those found in slow flowing, macrophyte dominated and lowland wetland type habitats in Otago. 113

  • Native fish species in the lagoon include longfin eel (Anguilla dieffenbachia) and shortfin eel (Anguilla australis). European perch (Perca fluviatilis), and introduced fish species has been found in a pool habitat approximately 300m upstream from Finegand Lagoon Marsh. 113

  • During a walk-over survey in January 2013, eleven bird species were observed, nine of which were indigenous. The total number of bird species recorded in the wider Finegand Lagoon area is 26, of which 21 are indigenous and five are exotic.

  • Native birds recorded in the Finegand Lagoon area include Australasian Harrier (Circus approximans), Australasian Coot (Fulica atra), Bellbird (Anthornis melanura), Black Fronted Terns (Sterna albostratiata), Fantail (Rhipidura fulginosa), Grey Teal (Anas gracilis), Little Shag (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos), Kingfisher (Halcyon sancta vagans), Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), Southern Black-backed Gull (Larus dominicanus), Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus miles), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo tahitica neoxena), Paradise Shelduck/Putangitangi (Tadorna variegata), New Zealand shoveller (A. rhynchotis variegata), New Zealand Scaup/Papango (Aythya novaeseelandiae), White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), Pied Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus). 113

  • Three native bird species are listed as ‘threatened’ based on the New Zealand threat classifications: black-billed gull (Larus bulleri), red-billed gull (Larus novaehollandiae scopulinus) and black-fronted tern (Chlidonias albostriatus). These species are likely to be only occasional visitors to the Finegand Lagoon area. 113

  • Introduced bird species include Australasian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Canada Goose (Branta Canadensis) and Mallard (A. Platyrhynchos). 113

  • Bitterns have been recorded in nearby wetlands but are unlikely to use Finegand Lagoon March due to its lack of suitable habitat. 113


Aerial View of Finegand Lagoon Marsh (March 2006)



Finegand Lagoon Marsh (August 2013)51



Finegand Lagoon Marsh (August 2013)  51



2 Ausseil, A.G., Newsome, P., Johnson, P. (2008) Wetland Mapping in the Otago Region. Landcare Research Contract Report prepared for the Otago Regional Council.

51 Otago Regional Council – Photo Archive.

113 Ryder Consulting Ltd. (2013) Finegand Meat Processing Plant. Stormwater and Cooling Water Discharge to Finegand Lagoon. Report Prepared for Silver Fern Farms.

Page last updated 12 July 2024.