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May 24th is World Fish Migration Day

fish passage construction may 2014

This Saturday May 24th is World Fish Migration Day, connecting fish, rivers and people.People all over the world will be participating in events to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining fish migration paths for sustaining healthy fish populations.We are doing our part in this worldwide effort here on the Bronx River. Work is underway at the 182nd Street dam on the Bronx River to complete the first fish passage in New York City, reconnecting migratory river herring with the freshwater habitats they need as part of their life cycle.  This is the first in a series of fish passages being constructed to enable migratory river herring such as alewives to travel upstream on the Bronx River to spawn.

This spring, the Alliance and our partners are monitoring eel populations on the river, using an apparatus called an Artificial Eel Habitat, or "eel mops" which provide shelter during the day for the  night migrating glass eels, allowing us to observe and count them. There is a lot that is not known about these fascinating and mysterious creatures. Scientists believe that they are born the Sargasso Sea, but they do not exactly know how or where this phenomenon takes place. What we do know is that  tiny eels  known as “glass eels” swim 3,000 miles from the Sargasso to the Bronx River every spring – they will grow first into elvers, then full grown yellow eels,  live their adult lives, anywhere from six to twenty years and females being up to four feet long, in the Bronx River, and then make the long trip back to the ocean to spawn. 

Check out this video of the eels in motion and a great slide show of how the monitoring process works.

Please join us in celebrating and appreciating the always fascinating Bronx River and the migratory fish that make their home in this unique urban habitat.

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About the Bronx River Alliance

The Bronx River Alliance is a coordinated voice for the river that works in partnership to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor so that it can be a healthy ecological, recreational, resource for the communities through which it flows.

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