Elver fishermen (those blokes you see hanging around rivers with
funny baskets) caught more than 1.2 million glass eels
(or elvers) in one night on the River Parrett
earlier this month.
fishermen were licensed by the Environment Agency
and the elvers will be released beyond all the man-made obstructions
on the River Parrett as part of the Sustainable Eel Group
Environment Agency says that this year’s spring tides are
carrying ten times the number of glass eels to the West Country
than this time last year.
of the glass eels will die if they are left the wrong side of obstructions
like weirs and sluices. They have to be able to make their way upriver
in order to grow to maturity and return to the ocean to breed in
the Sargasso Sea.
numbers of elvers in the Parrett has dropped massively in recent
years. Forty years ago they were so commonplace as to be virtually
worthless but their market value had risen to over £200 per
litre in early years of this millennium.
passes installed by environmentalists and restrictions in elver
fishing are having some effect on their recovery and a similar scheme
is under way on the River Severn in Gloucestershire.