Dams cause snag for eel migration in Hudson Valley

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PIERMONT -

Eels are making their way to the Hudson Valley, but the migratory fish is in decline because of man-made dams.

American eels are born in the Atlantic Ocean and migrate to rivers and creeks along the Atlantic coast, with some of them ending up in rivers and creeks in Rockland County.

A group comprised of group of scientists, students and residents is lending a hand to the snake-like fish at a damn on the Sparkill Creek.

Through the Department of Environmental Conservation's Hudson River Eel Project, residents are trained to operate and maintain eel ladders that help the fish get to their final destination.

The eel ladder, lovingly called an "eelavator," allows the fish to slither up a tube into a bucket where they have constant fresh water until volunteers can pull them up, count them and release them on the other side of the dam.

The group got about 30 eels last year and hopes for more success this year, which could lead to more eel ladders in the Hudson Valley.

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