American Eel

American Eel
Anguilla anguilla

Am Eel

      This snake-like creature is actually a fish.  While eels are rarely caught by our seventh grade classes during our fish surveys, when we do it's always an exciting catch!  Eels are one of the fish that are commercially harvested from the Patuxent River, primarily shipped overseas to markets in Europe and Asia.  Eels spend their time foraging on the bottoms of the river for small fish, crabs and other animals.
Eels have an interesting life cycle, spending most of their life in fresh-brackish water, but migrating out to the sea to spawn.  Most of the eels on the east coast migrate out to the Sargasso sea off the coast of Bermuda to spawn.  The expression, "slippery as an eel", is based in truth as eels are coated with a thick slime that makes them very difficult to hold on to.

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