Monday, 2 June 2014

Wrington Pupils wave goodbye to their elvers

Our final release of the year before half term was a very exciting one with the children from Wrington Primary School having a fantastic time at Blagdon Lake.
The first thing to do was to head over to the eel pass at the Bristol Water Fisheries site and check whether there were any elvers waiting in the tank to be released up into the lake.  This time we not only had these elvers which had made their way up the River Yeo and through the eel pass brushes to get into the tank, but also hundreds of glass eels and elvers which had been transferred there a few days before from UK Glass Eels.
These elvers were due for release into the wild and who better to do this than the wonderful guardians of our glass eels in Somerset - the Year 6 class at Wrington Primary.  So all the children had a go at catching the elvers in the tank - ready to be taken up to Blagdon Lake.  This was no easy task as of course, eels are slippery customers - the saying "As slippery as an eel" exists for a good reason!  However, the children were fantastic - very careful and gentle and we managed to capture every single one.
Trying some sustainable smoked eel 
After an enthusiastic nature trail in the woodland reserve at Bristol Water Fisheries, we headed back to the lake for some lunch and to try smoked eel - a first for all the children.
It was then time for the big release with our elvers of all different sizes from the eel pass as well as their own special glass eels, which they had looked after so carefully all last term. 
It is amazing how fond you can become of your little eel charges!
Good luck little elvers!
After saying 'goodbye' to all our elvers and glass eels and wishing them a long and happy maturity into adulthood in Blagdon Lake, the children had a wonderful bird watching session on the lake.  Our highlight was seeing families of ducks and coots with their babies bobbing in and out of the rushes.
The children at Wrington did a wonderful job of looking after their glass eels and we are very grateful to them for helping us with this wonderful conservation project aimed at increasing the population of eels in our freshwater in Somerset.  What a lovely thought for the children that they might come back in 20 years' time and their eels could still be living in Blagdon Lake before heading all the way back to their spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea!

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