A few days ago my eldest and a friend found the old fish trap and decided to use it again. After changing the broken cable ties, they threw it in the water and tied it to a pole.
Today the boys checked if there was anything in the trap, and yes there was… A beautiful eel, (50-60 cm long) was trapped and desperately tried to get out. Since none of the boys wanted to free the poor animal, I had to open the trap and let it out.
An eel is very, very slimy, and I had to get my garden gloves so I could pick it up and release it back in the stream again.
For many, many years we have not been able to catch any eels in the stream. They were more or less extinct in our area. In general the eel has suffered deeply for many years and we have not seen any the last 7-8 years or more.
All eels originate from the Sargasso Sea, so this one was born between Florida and Bahamas. Amazing, when you think of the distance it has to travel starting out at a size of 5-7 cm after spending its first three years in the Sargasso Sea. The travel to Europe takes 1-2 years, then finding their ways to rivers, streams and lakes. Then when the eel is mature (after 5-8 years for males and 8-15 years for females), they travel all the way back again to make more eels in the Sargasso Sea… The eel is really an amazing fish.
Catching this one is hopefully a good sign. We know the water quality is perfect, the stream has been deepened some years back to give it more current and the flow has been naturalized with stones and gravel. All in all perfect conditions for fish.
So, let’s see if the eels are back again… I hope they are.