Friday, April 8, 2022

Susquehanna River Basin Commission Eels In The Classroom Program Partners With Schools To Release American Eels

American eels were once one of the most common fish species in the Susquehanna River Basin. But in the early 20th century, multiple large hydroelectric dams were constructed on the river that block their natural migration. 

These eels have a unique life cycle in which they spawn in the Atlantic Ocean and travel upstream into freshwater to live the majority of their lives before returning to the Atlantic to reproduce and die.

Lucky for the eels, Susquehanna River Basin Commission fisheries biologist Aaron Henning created a program to help restore their population in the Basin. 

Eels in the Classroom is an environmental education opportunity that provides juvenile American eels to high school students to raise and ultimately release back into the Susquehanna River. Students learn about the value and importance of migratory fish.

On April 1st, this season’s first collection of young eels were released into the Conodoguinet Creek in Cumberland County by 20 of Christina Baldwin’s biology students at East Pennsboro High School

Scientists from SRBC did an electrofishing demonstration for the teens before the release. They were able to catch three adult eels, which gave the students an idea of what the juveniles they’ve been raising in the classroom will eventually look like. 

The students helped Aaron tag two of the largest eels for research before releasing back into the creek.

Eels in the Classroom will release dozens of the fish into waterways throughout the Basin this season alone. 

More than 1.5 million eels have been restocked in the watershed since 2005 thanks to Henning and our partners through various restoration projects.

For more information on programs, training opportunities and upcoming events, visit the Susquehanna River Basin Commission website.  Click Here to sign up for SRBC’s newsletter.   Follow SRBC on Twitter, visit them on YouTube.

(Written By Stacey Hanrahan, Susquehanna River Basin Commission.)

Related Articles:

-- Educator Offers Video On 6,000 Year-Old Danville Riverside Eel Dam And Eels To The Classroom Project In The Susquehanna River Watershed

-- Eels And Mussels - An Unlikely Pair - Benefit Pennsylvania's River Ecosystems

-- American Eels Reintroduced To Pickering Creek In Chester County, Delaware Watershed

-- PA Council Of Trout Unlimited Accepting Applications For Trout In The Classroom Funding 

-- Susquehanna River Basin Commission Now Accepting Applications For Groundwater Level Monitoring Grants 

-- Susquehanna River Basin Commission Releases 2021 Annual Report

[Posted: April 8, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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