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October 25, 2016
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Possible changes in store for eeling on the Upper Delaware

People are not the only consumers of eel. This eight-week-old bald eagle is attempting to eat an eel, while the parent looks on. Eels are an important part of river habitat. As aquatic carrion eaters, they are prey for many predator species of fish and birds.
TRR photo by Scott Rando

Locally, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation fisheries biologist Kathy Hattala held a public informational meeting at the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) office on June 30 in order to review draft regulatory changes to the interstate fishery plan for the American eel. There were four proposals under consideration, ranging from complete fishery closure at the end of the year to limiting the number of weir fishery permits to present and past permitees. These proposals are outlined in a letter sent to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) by the UDC on July 15 this year, urging extension of this historic eel fishery on the New York State portion of the Delaware River. A copy of the UDC letter can be found here: www.upperdelawarecouncil.org/pdfs/UDC_advocates_for_eel_fishery.pdf.