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Nawal El Saadawi to speak on "Politics, Women, and Democracy" October 18

Eels in Stoney Brook to be Given a Lift at Mount Holyoke

Historic House to be Moved October 19

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October 15, 2004

Eels in Stoney Brook to be Given a Lift at Mount Holyoke

A 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 and instruction."

“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 North 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 River watershed.”

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. Through 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 (413) 772-2020 ext. 205 or or go to


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