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Re: American eel

I would like to relate a few observations on the American eel *Anguilla
rostrata* that may be of interest to the list.

Last summer while I was diving in a couple of springs in the panhandle Florida, I encountered several adult eels inside the springs during the day
and outside the springs in shallow water at night. In Morrison springs I
encountered 30 to 40 eels two to three feet long, inside crevices and
holes, 75 feet underwater inside the spring. They would hide in the
spring during the day and emerge at night to feed. 

A story was related to me by other divers at Crystal springs that they
had witnessed eels emerging from the spring at dusk being preyed upon by
waiting Stripped bass.

The only known spawning location of *Anguilla rostrata* is in limited
area of the Atlantic ocean somewhere near Bermuda. Adult eels migrate to
this area, spawn and then die. Their offspring drift as leaflike larvae
their first summer then transform into small adults and begin migrating
up rivers. They spend several years developing into adults before
migrating back to the ocean to spawn.

There is a report of an American eel being caught around 1940 near Atwood
Kansas in Beaver creek. This eel would have had to travel over 3,000
miles in order to reach this site, across the Gulf of Mexico, up the
Mississippi river, to the Missouri river, the Kansas river, the
Republican river and finally to Beaver creek. 

Eels are still occasionally caught in Kansas. If you take an overall look
at all the dams in the drainage system of the Mississippi river you can
see why there is not as large of a migration of eels into the interior
as there once was. The same observation can be made with drainage
systems in Texas and the east coast.

Very little is known about their actual spawning behavior.