Friday, 11 July 2014

And they're off! We wave goodbye and good luck to our elvers

This week has been quite a week with an emotional farewell to our elvers that we have been rearing since April.  Over the last 4 months our little office friends have tripled in size since they first arrived as glass eels and had changed into elvers.  

Not only have these adorable elvers helped us learn how to look after eels to be able to share the information with schools who took part in our Spawn to be Wild project with Bristol Water, but they were also the celebrities in our marquee for the Festival of Nature. Thousands of people visited our marquee over the weekend along with 200 school children all keen to learn more about their fascinating lives and what we can do to help them and make sure that we keep them far away from extinction.

Learning development Manager Jo Taylor releases our elvers 
So it was only right that they got a proper send off as they start the next exciting part of their journey.  We took them down to Blagdon lake where so far we have released over 2500 elvers with the Spawn to be Wild schools project.  Making sure that there weren't any hungry ducks around we slowly released them into the lake where they will live until they are adults (between 6 and 20 years).  Once they reach maturity they then begin the amazing journey all the way back to the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic to breed.  

We've really got to know the personalities of the eels in the last couple of months so it was a real honour to be able to release them and watch them on a clear and sunny day head to the lake bed exploring the weeds and rocks.
Lets hope that one of these eels beats the record of 88 years old and that as many of them as possible head back to the Sargasso Sea to breed and many more glass eels will travel up our rivers in future years.