First Glaven elver of 2016!

Out latest Blog Post comes from RGCG commitee member Willie Brownlow who is running the Glaven elver trap at Glandford Mill. This is the trap’s third year and the results are providing vital information to the Heritage Lottery funded Glaven Eel project. Willie reports on the first elver of the season.

The first elver of 2016 hits the trap on its way up-river. Lets hope for many more.
The first elver of 2016 hits the trap on its way up-river. Lets hope for many more.

The pipes set up last summer survived the winter spates and with a little tinkering I was able to get the syphons working and the trap was up and running by early May. I had quite a shock when I emptied the catching tank on 13th May and a large stone loach fell into the bowl. I think it must have been sucked up the syphon pipe as I cannot believe it managed to ascend the twenty or so metres of B&Q  pipe! Unfortunately it jumped out of bowl before I was able to take a good photograph!

We have been monitoring Glaven elvers for the last two summers and were not expecting any action until the end of June. In May elvers were already being reported from the River Severn and from Sussex, but, unsurprisingly, the Glaven was quiet at this time. Indeed last year the first elver was not caught until June 30th. I usually check the trap first thing in the morning, but inspired, after reading a very good feature on the Glaven Eel project in the Eastern Daily Press, I double checked the trap on 11th June afternoon to find the first elver of the season! They are 2 weeks early this year…

Willie Brownlow (L) and Adam Piper (R) at Glandfird Mill. Adam Piper from the Institute of Zoology (ZSL) and the Environment Agency is about to start some research on eel migration through the Glaven system.
Willie Brownlow (L) and Adam Piper (R) at Glandfird Mill. Adam Piper from the Institute of Zoology (ZSL) and the Environment Agency is about to start some research on eel migration through the Glaven system.

Where do we go from here? We have an excellent eel pass under the mill and we have no idea how many elvers are using this route. I plan to search the watercress immediately above the eel brushes with a small net to try and establish whether elvers are using the brushes.

We will undoubtely have a busy few months monitoring the elver run and will report on the findings soon.

Willie Brownlow, Glandford Mill

For regular updates follow the Glaven Eel project on Twitter: @GlavenEel. Also to get involved in the Glaven Eel project see our events page. And if you see any elvers please let us know and take a photo if you can. Do check the streams in Sheringham, Beeston and Weybourne and at Kelling Heath too if you have a chance. Now is the time…