American Eel

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     American Eels inhabit all tributaries of Chesapeake Bay and can grow to 1.5 m (5 ft.) in length. They are catadromous, living the majority of their lives in fresh water and migrating to the ocean to spawn.  
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     All American Eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea, with the larvae being transported to the east coast of North America by ocean currents. These larvae then metamorphose into glass eels, at which time they move into estuaries and rivers to continue their life cycle.  
  • American eel
    American eel  American Eel are nocturnal feeders that prey on insects, crustaceans, worms, fishes, and mollusks.  
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 American Eel graph
  • The gear used in this survey does not efficiently capture this species.  Results should not be interpreted as a reliable index of abundance.
  • This index includes all American Eels >152 mm TL (total length) that are caught in the rivers during the months of April through September.

Data collected after the transition to a new vessel and net (June 2015) have been adjusted by a species-specific calibration factor and are denoted in gray. 

American Eel Excel table