American Eels

We’ll try.

As waters warm, what our northern neighbors plan should be considered.

From the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment:

**1. Focus on hydropower dams that are being relicensed, especially those near the coast Hydropower dams are relicensed for 30-50 years, so in our lifetimes, we may get one chance to allow eels to get past a particular dam. The relicensing process is the best time to consider eel passage because of the intense scrutiny given to the costs and benefits of dam operations. Sometimes eel passage should be provided even when there are no such passageways further downstream or upstream—it just depends on which dams are undergoing relicensing first.

2. Focus on dams that restrict access to the largest amounts of high-quality habitat High-quality habitat for eels may include rivers, ponds, and lakes with relatively undisturbed habitat, good water quality, few environmental threats, and a good prey base. Low-gradient rivers that connect a series of lakes and wetlands are often very productive habitats, whereas small, high-gradient streams with small watersheds are usually less productive. **