American Eel, an Endangered Species?

 Their eyes are squarely upon us.

Look into them.

Their future rest squarely in our hands.


It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don't matter, anyhow
And it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don't know by now
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I'll be gone
You're the reason I'm traveling on
Don't think twice, it's all right

Bob Dylan

Above is the remains of an American eel after after encountering Green Hydro Power.

What's a species worth?

The following pages are an effort to raise awareness about the plight of the American Eel. Itís an ugly story of human indifference toward the suffering of one of natures most durable, mysterious and remarkable animals. An animal which most know of, but few know about.

Our approach and goals are two-fold. To give you information regarding the impacts of hydro dams on adult American eels migrating to the sea, and to provide information on the impacts of dams overall, most of which block or inhibit the upstream migration of baby eels.

We hope to prod you with an ethical question as well. Should we view the slaughter of American eels with the same compassion we reserve for other animals?

It is an effort to push your buttons, to flip a switch, to ask you to ask yourself a thoughtful question. What is right and wrong?

This ethical question, perception, how we view these animals now, how we view these animals in the future may be the most important factor in determining their future.

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) issued a press release on March 10, 2004 in regard to actions they feel may be required to protect declining American eel populations. Below is an excerpt from the ASMFC press release. 

" The Commission also recommended that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) consider American eel in the Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River/Lake Champlain/Richelieu River system as a candidate for listing as a Distinct Population Segment under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Board also recommended that the USFWS and the NMFS consider designating the entire coastwide stock as a candidate for listing under the ESA."

Threatened and Endangered Species ( From US EPA Website)

What are Threatened and Endangered Species?

Extinct - a species that is no longer living or in existence.

Endangered - a species that is in immediate danger of becoming extinct and needs protection to survive.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Glossary, definition of an endangered species:

Endangered species: An animal or plant species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

The following pages contain a good deal of information and will require some reading. While much of the following pertains to dams and their impacts be sure that our American eel suffers insults from many other human "endeavors", commercial and recreational fishing, pollution in estuaries and rivers and many others.

We know of no quick, painless or easy way to tell this story. It wonít be for everyone. If you want a happy read donít bother going any further, you wonít find it here. If you want reality, if you want to be prodded and poked at, if you want to ask yourself questions, then we invite you to continue.

In the year 1800 no one, no one would have thought the above birds would be extinct in 1914. Guess what? They were wrong!

Are we they in 2012?

An Introduction to us and our good friend the Eel


What is happening now at Sebasticook River and rivers up and down the Atlantic coast?


What is Right and Wrong?

Should we Respond?


Some background info on our good friend the American Eel


How and Why Hydro Dams Kill Eels



ASMFC American Eel Fisheries Management Plan


Our public comments on proposed changes to the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Conservation Plan



Maine DMR contacts ......

George Lapointe.....

Gail Wipplehauser....

Glass Eel & Elver Gallery