Migratory Fishes 

Eel (anguilla anguilla)

The European Eel is a very well known fish to most of the people. Part of our culture and very familiar as smoked eel. On the other hand it is one of the most mysterious fish species in our waters.

The length of its migration route beats all other migratory fish species. Different from Salmon and Trout it does not spawn in fresh water but in the depth of the Sargasso Sea. A part of the Atlantic Ocean off the North American east coast, somewhere near the infamous Bermuda Triangle. 

The  eel larvae, called leptocephalus, migrate with the Gulf Stream from the east coast of the USA to the European estuaries where they metamorphose to small transparent glass eel and migrate up the rivers into our streams, lakes, ponds and ditches.

Nobody ever could until today watch European Eel while reproducing naturally. The technology of artificial reproduction has not yet been developped successfully.

Every single Eel that ends up as smoked eel on our table or lives in a small ditch behind the house has done this huge journey and will after growing up for about 10 years cross the Atlantik once more to reach the Sargasso Sea again if we let him.

Unfortunately a great number of Eel will never reach the Sargasso Sea. A lot of hydropower turbines on their way to the Sea will chop them to pieces or damage them so heavily that they will not make it to their distant destination.