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  Themes Homepage > Eel catching
 
Working on and along the river
Eel catching

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Eels
In Medieval times, millions of young eels, known as elvers, would swarm up the Thames each spring. Born in the Sargasso Sea, in the Caribbean, they would have spent the previous three years drifting in the Gulf Stream. The river would now be their home, until when adult, they would return to the sea to spawn.
Eels
Eels
 
Grig weels
Grig weels
Grig Weels
Throughout the year eels could be caught using Grig Weels. These long baskets with a funnel neck, similar to lobster pots, were laid under water weeds, where eels tended to lurk.
 
Eel Bucks
Each autumn, thousands of adult eels migrated downstream towards their spawning grounds at sea. Traps, known as eel bucks, which looked like long baskets, were laid across the river, obstructing the passage of boats. In centuries past, there was always a tension between the needs of bargees to transport goods up and down the river, and those of fishermen.
Eel bucks
Eel bucks
 
 
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