Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Eels to be helped back into Lake Windermere

Critically endangered eels are to be helped back into Lake Windermere, Cumbria, where they have not been seen in significant numbers for 30 years.

The European eel has seen a huge decline, partly because of barriers to migration including dams and weirs on rivers and flood defences.

Two chutes - or "eel passes" - are being put in the River Leven to enable access into England's largest lake.

Conservationists hope to get numbers back to 40% of those seen in the 1980s.

Over the past three decades, there has been a 95% decrease in the number of European eels due to migration barriers as well as overfishing and loss of habitat.

The eels begin their lives in the Sargasso Sea, near Bermuda, before swimming thousands of miles across the Atlantic and heading up UK rivers to grow.

They later make the return journey to spawn.

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