Kansas Wildlife and Parks Find American Eel in Kansas River, A Species Thousands of Miles from Its Spawning Grounds

By Trish Svoboda

On May 25, Kansas Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) shared on its Facebook that a recent discovery was made while taking samples from the Kansas River in April near Kaw Point. While KDWP’s Aquatic Invasive Species Crew collected samples, they came across an American eel, thousands of miles away from where it spawned.

According to the post, each American Eel discovered in Kansas has migrated from the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean, traveling approximately 3,500 miles. This species is catadromous, meaning that it migrates from freshwater habitats and inlets to the Sargasso Sea during the late summer and autumn. Spawning takes place in the late winter and early spring.

According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the American eel is the only species of freshwater eel found on the continent.

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