Understanding muliwai

HANAPEPE — Muliwai, or estuaries, provide important habitat for juvenile aquatic animals, many of which are prized culturally, commercially and as sport fishes.

The state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, led by aquatic biologist Troy Sakihara and research scientist Kim Peyton, have been studying the Hanapepe Stream estuary from 2011.

Their findings will be highlighted during a free public presentation, “Muliwai: Lifeblood of Hawaii’s Fisheries,” from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Hanapepe Public Library. Other estuaries around the state will also be discussed.

Sakihara and Peyton will summarize their findings over a four-year period of research in Hanapepe.

The field research is part of an effort to collect basic information on the biology and physical characteristics of Hawaii estuaries to better improve the management, health and sustainability of these ecosystems.

How Hawaii estuaries function as juvenile sport fish habitat has been of special interest.

Some of the information specific to Hanapepe Stream includes the species recorded, distributions of where fish were collected, non-native or invasive species, and habitat charateristics such as the extent of saltwater intrusion into the Hanapepe Stream.

Info: 335-8418, or email Hanapepe.Eleele.Kauai@gmail.com.

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