Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

13-06-13 : Stop press, Eels found in Hogsmill!

It was the day we had been waiting for since the start of this year's ZSL eel monitoring project in April. Yesterday, biodiversity volunteer Juliet found not one, but three yellow eels in our trap at the Middle Mill Halls of Residence!

Our first eels of 2013!
Photo courtesy of Juliet Dukes.
This beats our one eel recorded last year hands down, and these ones certainly weren't tiddlers (or 'elvers' to give them their technical name!) as seen elsewhere in the London region!

Much larger than expected, these yellow eels measured over 30cm!
Photo courtesy of Juliet Dukes.
This will give an added incentive to trained Hogsmill volunteers for the rest of the checking season as they had been preparing themselves for not finding any eels at all this year. Joe from ZSL had warned  that the barriers to fish passage in the Hogsmill area make finding eels much less likely here than other sites with more natural river courses and habitat. It just goes to show, you should never underestimate nature!

Still, excited as we are, we mustn't get carried away. Our three pale in insignificance when you compare it to the 4000 found during one week's checks on the Medway! If numbers remain low here at Middle Mill, this is a very important result indicating continuing problems for eel migration. We shall have to wait and see what the next few months brings. Watch this space!!

Daljeet ensures our three eels are safely released on their way back upstream.
Photo courtesy of Juliet Dukes.

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