YONKERS, N.Y. -- If you don't mind getting muddy or grabbing slippery fish, then you are the perfect person to volunteer for the Eel Migration Project conducted by Sarah Lawrence College.
Each spring the college's Center for the Urban River at Beczak participates in the state Department of Environmental Conservation's Hudson River American Eel Migration Study. This year, the center is asking for volunteers from the community to help with the effort.
During the project, teams of scientists, students, and community members collect glass eels using specialized nets and traps on several Hudson River tributaries.
Volunteers work with CURB staff and other volunteers. In order to sample for the eels, a special cone-shaped Fyke net is placed the tidal marsh. Staff and volunteers check this net daily, counting the number of glass eels (at 1 year old their bodies are see-through) and sending this data to the DEC. The project typically begins in March and runs throughout the spring.
Sampling takes place during weekday afternoons, and volunteers must be comfortable handling fish and working in wet and muddy conditions.
What is unique about the American eel is its life cycle. Beginning in the Sargasso Sea south of Bermuda, the eels slowly mature while journeying across the Atlantic Ocean to the Eastern Seaboard. Once at the coast, they then begin to move into waterways such as the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay and New York Harbor, said CURB officials.
A free cab service is available to and from camp for Sarah Lawrence students interested in taking part.
To volunteer, or for more information, contact Jason Muller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-377-1900, ext. 16.