From Bermuda to Kent

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Sion
Bleak
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From Bermuda to Kent

Post by Sion » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:41 pm

My son caught an eel on the River Medway today.

Image

It was the on the first cast of the day, after 5 minutes and the net was to remain dry for the rest of the afternoon. I caught a small roach.

He was fascinated to hear that they are thought to breed and travel into our rivers from the Sargasso Sea south of Bermuda. Quite happy with his day's catch after telling him this.

I understand they are quite rare in our waters nowadays?

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RBTraditional
Tench
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Re: From Bermuda to Kent

Post by RBTraditional » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:43 pm

a Lovely "Eric" from a lovely river...............well done to your son sir :Hat:
"Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it..."

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Mark
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Re: From Bermuda to Kent

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:50 pm

Nice one Sion.
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The most precious places in the English landscape are those secretive corners,
where you find only elder trees, nettles and dreams. (BB - Denys Watkins-Pitchford).

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Hovis
Arctic Char
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Re: From Bermuda to Kent

Post by Hovis » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:50 pm

Nice wiggly sir. Looks very yellow in the pictures? They tend to vary a fair bit up this way but take on a silver colour as they get bigger and you notice a distinct flattening of the head as they get more predatory. They are rare creatures now. After decades of over fishing, but new bylaws and specify projects look to be bringing the back from a 98% decline only 50 years ago. Yet another example of mans grees upsetting nature. Well done on a fine capture
I have laid aside business, and gone a'fishing.

Izaak Walton

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Scott
Eel
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Re: From Bermuda to Kent

Post by Scott » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:53 pm

Fascinating creatures.. ..as Hovis has pointed out, strange colouration and that head looks very snake-ish...

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Hovis
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Re: From Bermuda to Kent

Post by Hovis » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:56 pm

Scott wrote:Fascinating creatures.. ..as Hovis has pointed out, strange colouration and that head looks very snake-ish...
They tend to "puff" the gills like that when they have beem out a little while, although I don't know why biological speaking. They are reputed to cross a fair distance on land although I have never seen it.
I have laid aside business, and gone a'fishing.

Izaak Walton

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Dave Burr
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Re: From Bermuda to Kent

Post by Dave Burr » Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:36 pm

Apparently this year has seen a mass of elvers flooding into our rivers, the eel may yet be on the road to recovery - fingers crossed.

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Michael
Eel
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Re: From Bermuda to Kent

Post by Michael » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:03 am

I copied an article from the Society for Integrative Biology. which is an interesting read, interesting little chaps to say the least!

25.6 Monday, Jan. 5 Divergent head shape variation in European eel: how well does skeletal morphology reflect functional demands? IDE, Celine*; DE SCHEPPER, Natalie; DUMONT, Betsy; HERREL, Anthony; ADRIAENS, Dominique; Ghent University

The existence of naturally occurring narrow- and broad-headed individuals within the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) populations is long since known. Previous studies demonstrated sexual differences in growth, with females growing faster than males, but which is irrespective of the observed difference in head shape. The apparent divergent head shapes have been related to differences in the diet, where broad-headed eels would feed on bigger and harder prey items. Although some research has been focusing on this dimorphism, very little is still known about how and when this dimorphism arises and what parts of the body plan are involved. What has already been observed is that broad-headed types have larger jaw muscles than narrow-headed ones, where modeling of bite-force suggested higher bite force in broad-headed once. Whether differences observed between the two morphotypes at the skeletal level is a reflection of dealing with differences in mechanical stress during prey manipulation still remains unclear. Using Finite Element Analysis we thus wanted to see to what degree differences in skull morphology between narrow- and a broad-headed eels have an effect on stress distribution when a force is being applied. With this analysis we wanted to find out if the skull architecture in broad-headed eels allows dealing with higher biting forces, and hence is more resistant to mechanical loading force when feeding on harder prey items.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
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Reedling
Zander
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Re: From Bermuda to Kent

Post by Reedling » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:05 am

Eels down our way have a yellowy underside but change to whitish (Silver Eels) as they enter the sea to return to their breeding grounds. We seem to have quite a good supply of Eels in and around our area although numbers are obviously down on previous times. Overfishing of Eels is not the problem with their decline as far as I am aware it is due to other forces, such as gulf stream movements, parasites/disease? etc. Eel fishing has been tightened to allow the Eel protection until what is happening is fully understood, and numbers recover. That is how I see it.

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Santiago
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Re: From Bermuda to Kent

Post by Santiago » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:10 am

I've heard the problem is mainly due to a parasite that infects there swim bladder and when the eels migrate to sea they swim along the bottom but when they reach the continental shelf their diseased swim bladders condemn them to swim much deeper than they would otherwise and thus die due to water pressure. Some time last century (60's, 70's or 80's) some fishmongers in Billingsgate had the great idea to import live eels from Japan that were infected with this parasite. Japanese eels are not affected by this parasite because they've evolved with it over millions of years. Anyways, many live infected Japanese eels escaped and swam up the Thames etc. etc.

That said, there is still a debate as to whether the elvers that come up our rivers are from eels of British or European stock or American. It's thought that not many European eels make it to the Saragossa sea, which is a 'melting pot' for mating of many freshwater eel populations from both continents. However, I'm not familiar with any recent DNA research into this or if there is any, but such research would help to understand what is actually happening. So maybe the lack of eels is more to do with events on the American continent such as the building of big dams etc., coupled with the changes to the gulf stream (temperature and flow). But the recent influx of elvers is great news.
"....he felt the gentle touch on the line and he was happy"

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