If you want to discuss Catfish, Perch, Zander, Ferox Trout or Eels, this is the place for you
ThePikingEcologist wrote: ↑There does not seem to be a definitive answer to this. Logically, you would expect them to go once sexually mature, and, of course, assuming they can get out. The variation in size of eels leaving our rivers to spawn is great-some big fish that have either not been able to escape, or not had the urge. When they implanted transponders in some a few years ago they had eels in excess of 6lbs in the sample. I favour the theory that if they can get back to sea they will do it as soon as they are able.Yes...that makes far more sense than 60 years of age. Do eels have to be a certain size before they leave freshwater? Is it not just that they must be sexually mature and ready to go to sea?
My uninformed guess would be the same. I don't know anything about eels. I have seen couple of silver ones come out recently, I assume they are ready for sea. There have been lots coming out of a river near me, they arn't particularly big..but seem to be on their way to leave.
Yes, they silver up in stillwaters even if there is no way out. I have had quite a few big eels that were very silver with larger eyes than usual; signs of preparing to leave, but they can't get out it would seem. ZSL and CEFAS chaps seemed to think they would "unsilver" once the urge had passed
There are loads of anecdotes regarding eels crossing land, but no scientific evidence. I can see that they will follow a flow of water, for example, in flood conditions when the surrounding land has an inch or so of water, or in marsh environments, but I am sceptical that they will cross dry land. Tesch carried out an experiment in which they removed eels from a stillwater and located them some 5 metres from the waters edge. The intention was to determine whether eels could find their way back to the water. In all cases the eels went off all over the place, and did not navigate back to the water, so it is unlikely that they would be able to locate watercourses across dry land. Cue someone to say they have seen this...........
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