in Stoney Brook to be Given a Lift at Mount Holyoke
new eelway will be unveiled at Mount Holyoke October 18 at 3:00
PM. The eelway allows passage for migratory and resident eels
over a dam on Stoney Brook, located on campus. At the site, representatives
from the Center for the Environment, the Connecticut River Watershed
Council (CRWC), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) will be on hand to explain how the eelway was constructed
and how it works.
The eelway has a short, portable ramp that leads to a trap box
on the west side of the College’s Dam #1. Mount Holyoke
students will transport eels from the trap box to a variety of
locations above the three dams located in the MHC portion of
the Stony Brook watershed. The eelway ramp will be installed
each spring and operated throughout the summer when the eels
migrate, then removed and stored during the winter.
“The eelway is a wonderful example of pairing environmental stewardship
with innovative curricular development,” explained MHC
Center for the Environment director Thomas L. Millette. “The
trap and transport approach used in this eelway allows Mount
Holyoke students to build a database of eel characteristics
and migration patterns that can be used to support research
“This project is the first of what will hopefully be several eel
projects on Stoney Brook, a stream with excellent eel habitat,” noted
Andrea Donlon, CRWC’s river steward. “Eels are
a fascinating species and are an important part of our ecosystem.
Unfortunately, their numbers are mysteriously declining in
America. Although several factors may be affecting their population
-- much of their habitat is restricted by dams. We are working
to get more eelways installed on dams throughout the Connecticut
The eelway was partially funded by the CRWC through a grant
with the NOAA.
The Watershed Council is a nonprofit membership organization
that has been working for more than 50 years to protect and
restore the natural resources of the Connecticut River watershed.
their fisheries restoration program, they have worked on improving
fish habitat by coordinating the installation of fishways,
replacing culverts, and altering or removing dams.
The unveiling of the eelway is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Andrea Donlon at CRWC at
ext. 205 or firstname.lastname@example.org or
go to http://www.mtholyoke.edu/proj/cel/Eelway/Eelway.shtml