Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

Silver eel, Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758), migration patterns in lowland rivers and lagoons in the North-Eastern region of their distribution range

Silver eel, Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758), migration patterns in lowland rivers and lagoons in the North-Eastern region of their distribution range

Authors: Dainys J, Stakėnas S, Gorfine H, Lozys L

Source: Applied Ichthyology DOI: 10.1111/jai.13426

Summary. Escapement success and migration patterns of silver eels Anguilla anguilla (L.) was studied by acoustic telemetry in three natural free-flowing and one dammed river and in Curonian Lagoon in Lithuania. Mean downstream migration speed and escapement success were almost the same in the shorter 210 km dammed river (52%, 13.6 km/day) and the considerably longer 300–480 km free-flowing rivers (53%, 10.7 km/day). Despite the similarity between migration speed in the Curonian Lagoon (14.6 km/day) to that in rivers, migration success was significantly higher (71%) in the Lagoon. Although a majority of silver eels in Lithuania start migrating downstream in spring, the peak of eel migration into the Baltic Sea was observed during late fall. Overall migration success in the rivers and the Lagoon was 35%. Relatively low escapement may have negative consequences on the success on eel stock restoration and must be addressed when strategically planning for the production of spawners.

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