BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A promising sign for Maryland’s ecosystem.

“This is a key component to the overall health of our Chesapeake Bay and eating our Chesapeake Bay restoration and resiliency goals,” said Ben Grumbles, Maryland Secretary of The Enviroment.

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The American eel population in the Susquehanna River reached a record high this season.

The state’s Eel Migration Program recorded over half a million of these juvenile slippery creatures that pass through the Conowingo Dam — and experts say there’s no real reason behind a spike in population just luck.

A ramp is a key player in helping the eels migrate over the Conowingo Dam and these juvenile eels serve as a host fish for mussels. So more eels, means more mussels, resulting in cleaner water in the upcoming years for other native species like blue crabs and oysters.

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State leaders and biologists say it’s a step forward to a cleaner future and hoping for even more eels next season.

“The best thing we can do here to the dam is keep that thing in operation keep water flowing like it’s a creek keep attracting them,” said Michael Martinek, Fisheries Biologist for Normandeau Associates.

 

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