The Thames Catchment Community Eels Project had 2 Citizen Science opportunities.

ObstacEELS,  a two step training process got small organised volunteer teams to help us collect up to date information on barriers to eel migration on the following rivers:

  • Middle & Lower Kennet

  • Mole

  • Pang

  • Ravensbourne

  • Upper Brent

Becoming a trained Eel Monitor on the River Mole

Every year elvers (young eels) arrive from the Sargasso Sea and swim up the Thames, however that journey is hindered by the many man-made barriers on the river, such as weirs. This project has recruited and trained local volunteers within the Mole catchment to:

  • Monitor elvers as they migrate up the River Mole. Eels are temporarily trapped, they are counted and measured; and then released to continue their journey upstream.

    A summary of the data collected during this project:

    Data from the River Ember (a channel of the River Mole) monitoring site were cleaned by ZSL staff, at the end of the migration season, and reported alongside other Thames River Basin District monitoring sites to the Environment Agency, where they are fed into the Eel Management Plan for the region.

    2105 eels, of which 526 (25%) were less than 120mm in length, were recorded by volunteers that checked the Ember trap twice per week. Eels of less than 120mm are considered elvers, which are young of the year in freshwater. The catch demonstrates the importance of the Ember for eel and that newly arriving elver are able up to migrate upstream to Island Barn weir from the Thames.

    To find out more click here.

Thames Catchment Community Eels Project completed in March 2022,  for more information please contact us

Working together in partnership

Thames Rivers Trust
Action For The River Kennet
South East Rivers Trust
Thames 21
Thames Estuary Partnership
Green Recovery Fund Project
The Thames Catchment Community Eels Project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with the Environment Agency and Natural England.

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