by Denny Isaac, Aquatic Research Director
Our fieldwork season is nearing its end!
Jessica and Craig have been working steadily with GMRC biologist Carole-Anne in capturing American eel for our most recent Species at Risk study involving American eel.
The crew have been setting fyke nets in the Eel River to catch the eels, which would be then surgically tagged with an acoustic transmitter and sampled for a fin clip. Don’t worry, all eels are sedated in a solution of clove oil prior to surgery, and monitored for at least 1 hour after surgery to ensure recuperation and survival.
The acoustic tagging will help the GMRC understand eel behavior within the Eel River estuary by tracking its movements, and the fin clip samples with be sent to the SINLAB in Fredericton for stable isotopes analysis, which can tell us where the eels primary feeding sites.
The eels diet consists of sand shrimp, small fish, invertebrates, and clams!
The next steps of the project will involve canoeing the estuary to track eel movements and interpreting the stable isotope data!