In the Field

Eels of the St. Lawrence River

These photos are from a trip in October to Quebec for a National Geographic article I'm writing on eels. David Doubilet is the photographer... in the yellow jacket. The fishermen fish for eels on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, about an hour and a half east of Quebec City. They fish with tall nets that lead the eels into box type traps. The nets hang on posts stuck into holes drilled into the bedrock beneath copious amounts of mud. Most of these eels are shipped to Germany and Holland where they are smoked and sold. Eel populations in the St. Lawrence have been dropping precipitously, mostly because of two dams on the St. Lawrence that prevent downstream migration of eels from Lake Ontario.

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