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Volunteers count Hudson River eels again

May 12, 2017 12:04 am
New York's Department of Environmental Conservation is currently in the tenth year tracking Hudson River eels. More than 550 volunteer are donning waders and venturing into tributary streams to participate in the DEC's research on migrating juvenile American eels (Anguilla rostrata). "New York is home to significant habitat that is critical to the life-cycle of many migratory fish species," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "The American Eel Research project is an excellent way to connect students and the community with nature while gathering research that can be valuable for the future study of this species and its role in our ecosystem." The Hudson River Estuary Program and Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve began ten years ago gathering data for multi-state management plans for eel conservation. Eel collection takes place at most sites daily from early March through mid-May. Now coastal states from Florida to Maine monitor the migrations of American eels. Local eels are born in the Sargasso Sea north of Puerto Rico, and every spring they arrive in estuaries like the Hudson River as translucent, two-inch long "glass eels." Eels will live in freshwater streams and lakes for up to 30 years before returning to the sea to spawn.
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