Eelway

The Center for the Environment is very excited to announce that the eelway is installed in Lower Lake Falls and up and running!

Staff from the Mount Holyoke College Facilities Management Department that built and installed the eelway. Left to right: Barry Kwiatkowski (carpenter), Brian Clarke (grounds supervisor), Pete Cowley (carpenter), Bill Conz (carpentry supervisor), Don Cloutier (electrician), and Chris Domina (plumber).

The American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) is the Connecticut River Basin’s only catadromous fish, meaning it spawns in the sea and returns to fresh water, spending between 5-20 years maturing. American Eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea, which is located north of the Bahamas. These fascinating creatures return to freshwater to grow, reaching lengths of up to 4 feet. American Eels feed in streams and rivers at night, eating a wide range of food including: fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and worms. Much about the American Eel remains unknown. The unique lifecycle of this fish, with its many life stages, makes it a valuable species to study.

In the spring, when we will see the most migratory activity, the eels will be transported from the holding tank (pictured) to Upper Lake, aiding their migration upstream.

The Center for the Environment would like to thank all the folks at The Connecticut River Watershed Council, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Mount Holyoke College that helped make this project a reality.

As the use of the eelway increases, please check back to our site for more pictures and information on the eels and the importance
of eelways.

Installation site of the eelway at Lower Lake Falls.