© George Cowan


Update of the EEL Trek project for the month of May 2019

1. Most of the work is being done now by our UK partners, notably George Cowan and Sara Ramallo, both Hull University students.

2. They finally got hold of the amazing picture of a 6 kg silver eel caught on Ribeira Quente in 2008. The animal was caught by hand on a tide pool at the mouth of Ribeira Quente, after a night of heavy rain and consequent heavy runoff in the river. It is possible that the flow helped it overcome the several dams that cut connectivity in this river basin. This picture gives the EEL Trek team hope that we can still capture and tag an animal this size, and send it on its way to the Sargasso Sea and scientific fame.

3. George and Sara have set up multiple refuge traps in Ribeira Grande and Ribeira Quente, and are monitoring them periodically. During the month of May a total of 169 juvenile eels were caught in variable stages of their development. All juvenile eels were relocated upstream of the first major man-made barriers.

4. Our UK partners also made a scoping trip to the island of Santa Maria. A number of locations on the island were found conducive to eels large enough to be satellite tagged. These sites will be revisited in the Autumn silver migration months. In this period, EEL Trek will be responsible for the sampling effort on Flores Island, hiring two field assistants and covering logistic costs.