Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

20-03-13 : Eel monitoring training with ZSL

Continuing our partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a total of 11 volunteers turned out before Easter to be trained to check our eel trap ahead of this year's checking season. Right on our doorstep, volunteers will collect valuable data from the Hogsmill river and inform future conservation work to help this critically endangered species.

The daffodils signal the start of spring - not long now til our first check of the eel trap!

Joe Pecorelli from ZSL gave an informative and entertaining talk on the plight of the European eel (anguilla anguilla) to KU students and staff. The European eel has suffered declines in recruitment of up to 99% since the 1980s. This has been put down to a number of factors including physical barriers in rivers such as weirs. Joe explained the history of the project and how we, on the Hogsmill, are a vital link in the chain to understanding the passage of eels upstream to complete their life cycle.

Joe describes the elvers that volunteers will be looking out for in our trap
Volunteers from Kingston University and the local area will form a checking team here at the Hogsmill. We will be one of several groups on Thames tributary rivers monitoring the eels' migration in this ZSL project.

The weir at Middle Mill has been fitted with a modified eel pass which traps any eels passing by. By checking regularly we ensure the wellbeing of the eels, are able to measure them and release them upstream above the weir.

Eager volunteers size up the task ahead at our Middle Mill trap

Joe shows volunteers the trap chamber
If you like the sound of this project you still have the chance to get involved. We have two more training sessions planned on 24th and 30th April.

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