Friday, November 9, 2012

Campaign: Pikrodaphne Stream has Eels!

Grey Wagtail in the Pikrodaphne Stream
October 9th 2012
A really great birder, Michalis Kotsakis found a huge Eel slithering upriver near the river-mouth of Pikrodaphne -  a small urban stream here in Metropolitan Athens. So I went over to investigate the situation - alone. Early morning before work at the office - and I was busy - so I just took the S-R L24 (expensive electrofishing devise), a dip-net, that's all. The water is really polluted here - our HCMR team is monitoring this.... So when you know how bad it is, you don't really want to step in. But Eels!

I caught 7 individuals while electrofishing a stretch of about 150 meters. The polluted water's conductivity was high, so I used low voltage (about 300 volts) and low frequency - about 30 hz. The Eels were hiding in the deeper waters, under rocks and cement undercuts, below bridges (always in water deeper than 25 cm). Eels are IMPORTANT - a migratory fish that is now characterized as Critically Endangered! So finding them in the middle of the city is no small thing..........

There were grey-mullet downstream but I caught only one of those. Anyway, I now see this dirty small stream with new eyes - it is alive! BUT something needs to be done. My best pic. here is the Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), I took it while lugging the electrofisher, nets, etc - thanks!

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