Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

19-08-2013 : Second Hogsmill eels of the summer!

D-eel-ight as two eels are found at our Middle mill monitoring trap!

Measuring eels is a slippery task
(photo courtesy of C. Fleming)
So the three found in June weren't the end of the story. Having nearly given up hope of seeing any, volunteer eel trap monitors Ciara and Lucy discovered the two as they carried out their final scheduled check of the season on Monday. What luck!

Eel number 1, scooped into the bucket ready for release upstream above the weir. (photo courtesy of C. Fleming)
Following procedure, the girls netted the eels into plastic bags and measured them against a ruler. At 105mm and 91mm, these two were much smaller than the three yellow eels previously caught; they were at a stage known as 'elvers'.

This one's a wriggler!
(photo courtesy of C. Fleming)
Only last week, ZSL, the Wandle Trust and the Thames Anglers Conservancy installed eel-friendly tiles under the Clattern Bridge in Kingston town centre in the hope that this would aid the migration of the critically endangered species back upstream. Is this just a coincidence or could it be that the eels quickly found this new path and paid Middle Mill a visit? We are now eagerly awaiting the next few checks to see if more eels are found to add weight to this theory. Either way, it is wonderful to have more eels passing through the university campus on their way back to the Sargasso sea.

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