Over 100,000 eels have been caught and moved over migration barriers on rivers in Somerset
The annual spring migration of elvers (young eels of the common or European eel) from the sea into our estuaries and rivers is nearly over. Their migration further upstream is often blocked by multiple sluices and weirs, reducing their ability to inhabit the freshwater habitats that should be available to them. This limits the recovery of the whole eel population which is estimated to have reduced by 90 – 95% since the 1980s.
In an operation between the Sustainable Eel Group and Bridgwater elver fishermen, the eels were caught in the River Parrett near Bridgwater, then released to the following locations:
• 11,700 eels were released to the river Huntspill, upstream of Gold Corner pumping station
• 32,700 were released to the 18 foot rhyne above Nythe Sluice near Greinton
• 13,530 were released to the river Brue, above Clyce Hole weir near Highbridge
• 11,550 were released to the river Sheppey near Wells
• 33,000 were rleased to the River Cary, above Henley Sluice near High Ham
• 690 were released to the upper Brue, near Bruton
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